Chicken and Parmesan Soup with Spinach and Orzo

Well, this weekend has been a pretty rough one. Last Thursday night A came down with a upper respiratory /cold/sinus thing and it hit our poor girl hard! Needless to say it was all hands on deck for the weekend. While A was pretty much down for the count and not remotely interested in eating, J and I were in full-on survival mode (complete with pregnant hormonal mommy tears because who can really stand seeing their poor baby in such a state of discomfort?). Luckily, I had made a giant pot of Chicken and Parmesan Soup with Spinach and Orzo earlier that week!

Chicken and Parmesan Soup with Spinach and Orzo is such a delicious twist on chicken noodle soup- the ingredients are so simple and yet when you put them together, they sing! I'll definitely be making this again and again!

This recipe is a variation on a recipe from Real Simple that was given to me by my friend Erica before she had to leave me for warmer weather and a pretty great food and music scene (luckily, Austin has always been on my to-visit list!). She had made a big batch for herself one day, and was gracious enough to bring me some as well.

Needless to say, I was hooked. I demanded the recipe immediately. She sent it to me but told me she made some changes to certain things based on her preferences and what she had on hand. While I don’t remember exactly what she did, I also took my own liberties.

Chicken and Parmesan Soup with Spinach and Orzo is such a delicious twist on chicken noodle soup- the ingredients are so simple and yet when you put them together, they sing! I'll definitely be making this again and again!

I really love that this soup is pretty simple. It’s not long list of crazy, hard-to-find-ingredients, but rather the lack of mish-mosh that makes it so lovely. The addition of spinach to most anything makes me happy and the orzo adds the pasta-effect without being overbearing. Balance is key, after all!

But my favorite addition is the parmigiana rind. I found them at my grocer’s cheese section- they sold me a good size container of them for $1.95. A couple small pieces of parmigiana rind adds such a savory, delicious flavor to the broth. I just could not get enough! Once the soup is done, they soften and you can pull them out. Give it a try, you’ll be hooked!

Chicken and Parmesan Soup with Spinach and Orzo is such a delicious twist on chicken noodle soup- the ingredients are so simple and yet when you put them together, they sing! I'll definitely be making this again and again!

Chicken and Parmigiana Soup with Spinach and Orzo

Source: Adapted from Real Simple’s Chicken Stew with Couscous, Spinach and Parmesan via Erica Dawson.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. of herbes de provence (The first time I made this, I enjoyed it with 1/2 tsp. but now that I’m pregnant it’s a bit much for me so this time I cut it to 1/4 tsp. Use the amount to your taste preference)
  • 2 boxes + 1 can of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken breast
  • A couple of small parmigiana rinds
  • 3/4 of a cup of cooked orzo
  • A generous handful of baby spinach

Heat the oil in your pot over medium heat.

Add the onions and garlic. Saute for a round 10 minutes or until the onions and garlic are sweating but not brown.

Stir in the herbes de provence and cook for a minute or two.

Add the broth, salt, pepper, chicken breast and parmigiana rinds. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Remove the rinds and add the orzo and spinach.  Sprinkle with a little extra parmigiana (or romano) cheese and enjoy!

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Lakisha
    October 12, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Soup is like the best dish ever. The perfect night is a bowl of soup, warm blanket and a movie. Which I do every Wednesday. So I will be definitely trying out this recipe.

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 12, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      I agree- I will take soup whenever I can get it! Your Wednesday night routine sound amazing!! I hope you enjoy this 🙂

  • Reply
    Scott
    October 12, 2015 at 9:40 am

    We’re huge orzo fans, and have been looking for a good soup recipe to try. Giving this one a shot!
    Scott recently posted…Flashback: Traditions Start SomewhereMy Profile

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 12, 2015 at 11:58 am

      I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  • Reply
    Gina
    October 12, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Can you just add the orzo to the broth to cook it? I find it hard to cook it separately and strain it because none of my colanders have holes that small!
    Gina recently posted…Moneywise Menu Plan 10-11 {Fall Soups}My Profile

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 12, 2015 at 11:57 am

      You definitely can- That’s actually how I made it the first time but I found it absorbed a ton of broth so I made that change in the recipe. IT’ll be just as delicious if you put it in at the beginning- I’d add it with the onions and garlic. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jane
    October 12, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    I’m sorry your little one has not been well. Hope all is better now. Isn’t soup just perfect for these situations!

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 12, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Thank you, she’s still in pretty rough shape but slowly getting better. I’m with you- soup makes all the difference 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    October 12, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    This looks delicious! I am always looking for good soup recipes. I can’t wait to give it a try!
    Stephanie recently posted…5 Tips to Make Pumpkin Carving Easier with KidsMy Profile

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 14, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Thank you- I hope you enjoy it 🙂

  • Reply
    Carlee
    October 13, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    There is nothing quite like a bowl of homemade chicken soup. I am sure the rinds make this so lovely, and wilted spinach in soup is one of my favorites too. What a comforting meal!
    Carlee recently posted…Maple Browned Butter GlazeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 14, 2015 at 11:30 am

      I’m with you- Spinach is a welcome addition to most things I eat 🙂

  • Reply
    Diane Roark
    October 14, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Your chicken soup looks perfect for the fall or winter. I am sure it is warm and comforting. YUM!

    Many Blessings,
    Diane

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 15, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Thank you! It definitely warmed me up in this chilly weather!

  • Reply
    Carla
    October 15, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Love the idea of the rinds…totally have to try that. I have a little spin on this dish that we have loved. I make a chicken soup very similar (have to try to rinds) BUT instead of spinach I use a green mix from Trader Joes. I think they call it the southern green mix…but it is a bag of turnips, collard greens, mustard greens, and spinach. I steam the greens and then add them (and any extra liquid from them steaming) to the broth. It just adds that kick of flavor from the greens….YUMMMMM! I’ll add the rinds to my recipe and let you know what my fam thinks!
    Love reading your recipes

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 15, 2015 at 11:02 am

      That really is an excellent addition! I’ll take greens however I can get them- Wegmans has a Super Greens mix that has baby Kale, baby Spinach and Baby Chard and I LOVE sauteing it for A!

  • Reply
    Carol@The Red Painted Cottage
    October 16, 2015 at 9:08 am

    This looks yummy, Jessy. I love homemade soups, especially once the weather starts to cool and theres a chill in the air.
    Carol@The Red Painted Cottage recently posted…Recap Of My Texas VisitMy Profile

    • Reply
      Jessy
      October 18, 2015 at 7:45 am

      Thank you- me too! I’ve never met a soup that I didn’t like 🙂

  • Reply
    Eileen Boh
    July 30, 2016 at 11:30 am

    hi! This soup looks AMAZING. Is it a good soup to freeze? Thank you! 🙂

    • Reply
      Jessy
      July 31, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      Thanks Eileen! It freezes beautifully in y experience. Just be aware that like any pasta, the orzo can sometimes suck up some of the broth. I haven’t noticed it terribly but if that’s a concern for you, you might consider holding off on the orzo and cooking some up to add once you thaw and eat the soup. Enjoy!

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