28 March 2012

Lemony Chicken Soup

When the kids were really small, I made soups for them all the time ... lunches usually consisted of soup and crackers and little sandwiches or tiny bowls of chopped up fruit or pieces of cheese and ham bits. The sides changed a lot, but the soup remained a constant. They would come in from the back yard sandbox and swingset with rosy cheeks and chilly hands, get a wash-up, and climb up onto their chairs to gobble lunch and play with their 'little guys'  - then it was time for an afternoon nap and some quiet page-turning or make-believe in their rooms before a bit of Winnie the Pooh or Mr. Roger's Neighborhood or Sesame Street on the television.

Perhaps, it's the past few days of cold, raw, blustery weather that's brought back those memories of the kids and their 'Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day' days. Whatever the case, I fell to making a lemon chicken soup yesterday and spent a happy morning dragging out piles of photos from those very early days of motherhood. Then, I lounged at the table with some soup and oyster crackers and took a long trip down memory lane.

God, did I EVER wear my hair that curly?  What ever happened to the Fisher-Price farm with all the 'little guys'? I wonder if those little heavy sweaters are stored away in the cedar chest or given off to other little friends long ago? Haha! Kate and her first 'Peeps' - one sticky Easter! Sara and all her Daisy friends were so darn cute! Aargh! Buccaneer Eric ... golly, those guys loved dress-up!  God! I remember the kids almost lit themselves on fire making those s'mores!  Yup, he had chocolate icing in his ears. Where did the years go?

If you're reading this and you're smack dab in the middle of your young motherhood years, take plenty of pictures, read plenty of children's stories to your little ones, and make plenty of soup. It's storing up plenty of fun memores for chilly blustery Spring days when you've finally got time to sit down and think back.

Lemony Chicken Soup


4 chicken legs, skin on, bone in
2 chicken thighs, skin off, bone in
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
2 stalks celery, sliced on diagonal
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise and then into half moons
5 c. chicken broth (I used a reduced salt chicken broth paste and boiling water)
2 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
a generous sprinkle of garlic powder
two pinches dried thyme leaves or dried dill
a generous sprinkle of black pepper
⅓ c. dry orzo
juice of one lemon
1 tsp. lemon zest

1. Sauté the onion and celery in the olive oil in a soup pot. When they begin to wilt, add the carrots and continue cooking for another couple minutes.

2. Add the chicken broth, the herbs and spices,  the chicken pieces. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is done.

3. Remove the chicken pieces and strip the remaining skin back from the meat. Take the meat from the bones and chop it into  bite-sized morsels. Return the meat to the soup pot and discard the bones and skin.

4. Bring the heat up a bit under the soup and add the orzo. Cook until the orzo is al dente and the carrots are tender.

5. Taste soup broth and correct the seasonings. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest. If the orzo has absorbed too much of the broth, add more. Turn the heat off and let the lemon work its way into the soup flavours. Reheat gently when ready to serve.

6. Serve with oyster crackers


  1. heavenly... reminds me of my mum's soups too... always just so comforting... and perfect to chase away the cold... it's still freakishly warm here in the UK this week so soup is the last thing on my mind but some the weekend we're due some boring old cold stuff so I may be making this soup!

  2. That is one good looking soup. I still make a big pot of soup every Monday for our week's lunches; anxious to get back to my kitchen.

  3. Ha un aspetto molto invitante! :-)

    1. Una minestra semplice sta invitando sempre, Lucia!

  4. I blinked and they were in college. Where did the time go. Oh well....The soup looks delicious and so rich with the orzo (our favorite pasta for soup)the lemon adds that nice Greek touch.

    1. Yes, Susan! That lemon is such a sunny addition when it's cold and blustery!

  5. I just love this restorative soup! Two of my favourite, make that three of my favourites packed into one...lemon, chicken and orzo!

  6. I blinked and one had a kid of his own! Gorgeous soup. Love lemon w/ chicken!
    I wore my hair curly then, too. Funny thing, it was straight as a bone my whole life til it went gray and now it's as curly as when I had perm. Life. Enjoy every day!!

  7. What a lovely soup. It is raining cats and dogs here. I wish I had a pot of this on the stove. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  8. I am sure this soup would cure whatever ails you. Delicious!

  9. The soup looks delicious with all those lovely flavours. Loved reading your beautiful post :)


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