lemony chicken orzo soup

Cooking on weeknights can be super overwhelming. 

I dont know if I've shared this fact on the blog before but I grocery shop every day. Yes, you read that correctly... every single day (If I plan on cooking that is).

The reason for this is three fold:
1. I cannot, for the life of me, go to the grocery store and pick up all of the items that I need. It's like a disease. I've tried lists, but somehow I seem to leave them at home. Or I look at them and mentally cross all of the items off, but in reality, I forget the damn garlic

2. I like certain things from different stores and therefore there are four distinct stores that I must hit up periodically depending on what items I need. Sure I realize that I'm an insane person, but it is what it is. Meats from Whole Foods, produce and cheese from Trader Joe's, brand name items like Oreos or Goldfish (I said periodically, okay!) from Jewell or Target, and then there's this one little mart down the street that sells Boar's Head deli meats (random).

3. How the hell do people meal plan? How am I to possibly know what I'd like for dinner on Thursday on Monday night? Impossible I tell ya! That's like picking out your outfits for the entire week. Yeah, right. 

Anyway, this is reason I'm sharing this healthy, tasty, soup. Daily trips to the grocery store can be a little exhausting, and having to remember 5 ingredients is a lot easier than having to select 20 items from a maze of shelves. 

Here's what you'll need... 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, chopped into small pieces
2 celery stalks, sliced into thin pieces
8 cups of chicken broth 
2 cups of cubed or shredded chicken (I prefer small cubes) and cheated with a rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups orzo 
2 lemons (juice and zest)
1 bay leaf 
salt and pepper to taste

Here's what to do... 
Heat olive olive in large pot over medium heat. 
Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery and cook until vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes). 
Add in juice and zest from both lemons, bay leaf, chicken broth and chicken and bring to a simmer. Cook over low low-medium heat for about 15 minutes. 
While soup is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook orzo according to directions on box. When orzo is done cooking, strain and store in a separate bowl to prevent orzo from soaking up the soup broth. Season soup with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowl and add orzo. Serve and enjoy!

I learned that the separate cooking and storage of pasta or noodles in soups is the only way to prevent them from becoming too saturated with liquid. If you do not plan on serving all of the soup, and would like to keep the soup for leftovers, always prepare and store this way! 

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