greek lemon soup with chicken and orzo

I tend to skew towards very hearty soups. I want something that feels like a meal - not something that requires a part two. Unless that part two is a grilled cheese or anything with cheese for that matter. All that being said, there is a season fast approaching that requests I not cover myself in fleece and hooded sweatshirts ... so I'm trying to find some healthier options. Added to that, I've been largely sedentary for several weeks as I get over pneumonia and frigid winter weather.

This soup recipe lured me in with the promise of lemon and orzo - and it totally delivered. I made it on a Sunday night for some weeknight meals. It is a nice balance of light but still filling by virtue of the chicken and orzo. A few notes:
  • EGGS // In spite of my natural enjoyment for cooking, I do tend to avoid things that require precision or finesse, so the idea of tempering the eggs for this soup did make me a bit anxious. It turned out perfectly fine and provides a really nice flavor that I didn't expect. 
  • CHICKEN // The original recipe did call for using a rotisserie chicken - which I get. That does make sense in terms of providing instant flavor without the effort of cooking chicken. I hate bones - so I just roasted a few chicken breasts in my oven with some salt and pepper. Worked just fine. Do what works best for you.
  • FAST! // I can't emphasize enough how quickly this came together. While I like to avoid cooking on a week night, this is perfectly feasible especially if you have the chicken cooked in advance.
Here's how it goes.

(Step 1) In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the orzo and boil until just tender, about 7 minutes (1 to 2 minutes less than the package directions).

(Step 2) In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until lightened in color. Slowly drizzle in 1 cup of the hot broth, whisking vigorously, until egg mixture is hot to the touch. Take your time, you want to temper the egg yolks here rather than cook them. 

(Step 3) Add the egg mixture to the saucepan, reduce heat to medium, and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

(Step 4) Add the chicken and cook for another minute or two until chicken is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Shopping List (based on this recipe)
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup orzo
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
kosher salt and black pepper

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