Thursday, July 7, 2011

Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup

*Adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Chicken & Orzo Soup in the book "Food Made Fast: Weeknight".

PREP: 30 minutes

1 Tbsp. butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. fresh marjoram
8 cups (64 oz.) chicken broth
3/4 cup* pasta (orzo was recommended, but I used elbow macaroni noodles--any small noodle would work)
6 oz. baby spinach, chopped coarsely
1 cooked chicken (about 3 cups), shredded (I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (I didn't use this and it was still delicious!)

*Do not use more pasta than recommended. From experience, if you do, too much water will be absorbed and the proportions of the soup will be off.

In a large saucepan or medium pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and saute until onions are translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the carrots and marjoram and saute until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes longer. Add the broth, raise the heat to medium-high, and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the pasta to the simmering soup and cook for the length of time recommended on the pasta package for al dente. Add the spinach and the chicken and cook, stirring, until the spinach has wilted and the chicken is warmed through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, sprinkle with some of the cheese and serve.

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