Chicken Orzo Soup

So todays lunch started with a leftover roaster chicken. We had been going nuts with family visits and baptisms and ball games, so we decided to have a nice dinner at home. It was suppose to be Sunday, but due to life, it ended up being Monday. We cooked a 3 lb. roasting chicken and I had saved the carcass for later (see How Many Meals from one chicken post) and now, what do I do with it?

Today was the first picking, so I can still get lots more meat and broth off of it before I cook it for chicken stock. I picked off a few pieces and chopped them, enough for a small batch of soup, about 4 cups.

I fried some purple onions and mushrooms. I did toss in a few red peppers chunks, but I am not thrilled with how they turned out, even though they were a nice texture crunch when I tried my soup. I added a squeeze of garlic, about 2 Tablespoons, and fried them until soft. I added chicken broth as well as the leftover gravy from the Chicken dinner night. I then added a dash of Marsala wine (to get the tasty bits off the bottom of the pan) and then added about 2 cups chicken stock.

In another pot, I cooked about 1 cup of Orzo according to package directions. When this was done, I added this to the soup.

I tossed in Salt, pepper, and rosemary, and brought to a boil.

I’m not sure what wild cooking imp made me do the next step, but I took a good spoonful of some Chive & onion reduced fat cream cheese spread I had in the fridge and stirred that in. I’ve had luck with cream cheese thickening stuff in the past. I turned off the burner as soon as the cream cheese had dissolved, stirring the whole time.

What came out of the pot was not bad. Bland enough to be comforting and easy on the tummy, but still had enough flavor to keep me from thinking I was eating hospital food. The rosemary and the chive/onion cream cheese gave a background flavor without overpowering the chicken taste in the broth.

My favorite part was the mushrooms! Having never really tried other mushroom varieties other than white and Bella, I think this would go wonderful with some smaller mushrooms, possibly fried by themselves in some butter before being added to the soup.

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