December has me officially in winter hibernation mode! I've been keeping my diet simple, but I'm not skimping on flavor. Most evenings I've been enjoying some kind of homemade soup and the following recipe is among my most favorite, soul-warming combinations. I hope you'll enjoy my elevated version of chicken noodle soup.
1 tablespoons olive oil, vegan butter or broth
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
a few sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 -15 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
6 cups veggie broth, low sodium
the juice of 1/2 lemon (thinly slice the other half, reserving for garnish)
5 oz. orzo (or other preferred noodle of choice)
Himalayan salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Water or more stock, if needed
Melt the olive oil or butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring every few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften; 5 to 6 minutes.
Add in the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Stir the garlic around the pan, cooking for about 1 minute.
Add the veggie stock and bring to a low simmer. Taste the soup then adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Depending on the stock used, you might need to add 1 or more teaspoons of salt.
Allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes.
While the noodles cook, shred the chicken into strips or dice into cubes. Slide the chicken back into the pot and then taste the soup once more for seasoning. Adjust with more salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the parsley and serve.
Turn the heat up to medium high ( bringing the broth and vegetables to a slow rolling boil and add the orzo into the soup and cook until done, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the package directions. As the orzo finished cooking, taste and adjust seasoning, as needed. Removed the stems of thyme - the leaves should have fallen off and be incorporated into the soup during cooking. Turn off the heat, stir in the parsley and serve with a slice or two of fresh lemon.