Chicken noodle soup gets a time-saving twist

Here’s a warm, comforting and easy take an old favorite, chicken noodle soup. Using cooked chicken, either rotisserie or from the deli, cuts down on the cooking time. Parsnips add a hint of sweetness and fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese add a flavorful touch. This is a one-pot meal that’s perfect for a winter’s evening.
Orzo is rice-shaped pasta, but you can use any small pasta such as small macaroni, pastina or acini di pepe. Chopped fresh onion can be used instead of frozen. Saute it a few minutes longer. Any type of cooked chicken or turkey can be used.
CHICKEN ORZO SOUP
2 t. olive oil
2 c. frozen chopped onion
1/2 c. sliced celery
1 c. peeled thinly sliced parsnips
4 c. unsalted chicken broth
3/4 c. orzo
10 oz. cooked boneless chicken breast (skin removed)
2 c. fresh washed, ready-to-eat baby spinach
1 c. fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and parsnips. Saute 3 minutes. Add broth and orzo and simmer 8 minutes or until orzo is cooked al dente. Meanwhile cut the chicken into small pieces. When the orzo is cooked, add chicken and spinach. Stir until spinach is wilted and chicken is warmed, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle cheese on top. Makes 2 servings.
Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer.
— Tribune News Service

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