Thursday, January 1, 2015

Keep Well Chicken Orzo Soup


There are no words for how this soup aromatically fills the air in our home and soothes my soul.  Ladle after ladle full and we never tire of this--it has made it to the short list in the cold months.

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon flour
    4 garlic cloves
    8 cups chicken stock (From here--Crockpot Chicken and Stock)
    2 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (From here--Crockpot Chicken and Stock)
    4 cups chopped kale, stems removed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 Tablespoons fresh, chopped rosemary
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh, chopped thyme
  • 2 cups small, dry pasta--orzo
  1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute about 5 minutes until softened. 
  3. Add garlic and flour stirring constantly for 1-2 more minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add chicken stock, chicken, and kale.
  5. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until flavors are combined and veggies are tender.
  6. After the soup has fully simmered, Stir in salt, pepper, rosemary, parsley and thyme.
  7. Cover and begin to cook pasta until al dente.
  8. IMMEDIATELY after pasta is al dente, drain and add to soup (if you let the orzo sit it gets clumpy and soaks up all the water-yuck)
Tip:  Chop the veggies the night before serving and refrigerate until ready to use!

Timing:  Little Juliette had this at a few days shy of 8 months coarsely chopped up.  I added extra steamed carrots for her to make it thicker and easier to spoon feed her.  For a child to self feed this, I would say 18 months depending on how well they self feed.

Difficulty:  2 of 5.  As far as soups go, this is pretty easy.

Epicutie Rating:
Little Joy, Asher and Juliette:  Yummy in the Tummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Extra carrots for Little Juliette's Soup

Pre Chopped Veggies

Little Juliette's Soup to be Chopped

Chopped and ready for her!

SHE COULD NOT GET ENOUGH!  She kept signing more as soon as the food hit her mouth!

Little Joy and Asher had smile face toast with their soup---the face is Bell Pepper :)

Crockpot Whole Chicken and Stock

 I have a huge back log things to post, maybe one day I will catch up!

This is a regular thing at our house these days because it is quick and easy and inexpensive.  I can get whole chicken for .95/lb; we use it in four ways:
Our favorite "way" we use it is in Soup and as Stock!

Ingredients for CHICKEN
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (red) pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 onion
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Lemon cut in half
  • Apple chunks
  • 1 large chicken
Steps for CHICKEN
  1. Combine the dried spices in a small bowl.
  2. Loosely chop the onion and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Remove any giblets from the chicken and stuff the cavity with lemon, apple and rosemary.
  4. Rub the spice mixture all over. Be sure to put some of the spices inside the cavity and under the skin covering the breasts.
  5. Put prepared chicken on top of the onions in the slow cooker, toss a few rosemary sprigs on top, cover it, and turn it on to high. There is no need to add any liquid. 
  6. Cook for 4 – 5 hours on high (for a 3 or 4 pound chicken) or until the chicken is falling off the bone. 
  7. Leave all the juices from the chicken in the crock pot so you can make the easiest stock EVER overnight
 Ingredients for STOCK
  • Bones and onion from above (remove all the chicken from the bones)
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Water
Steps for STOCK
  1. After eating the chicken and removing the meat from the bones place the bones back into the crockpot
  2. Break up the carrots and celery by hand into large chunks--no need to cut or peel!
  3. Fill the crock up with water
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Turn to low and allow to simmer over night--We usually eat the whole chicken with sides for dinner then I make the stock overnight.  The next morning I remove the lid and crank it up to high until noon to concentrate the flavor some---this is optional.  The stock is ready the next morning.
  6. DONE!  You can refrigerate the stock for several days or freeze it---I use it right away in a soup!
My stock the next morning
Timing: 7/8 Months; The chicken is super soft.  If you are uncomfortable offering it as a finger food pulse it in a food chopper for a few seconds.

Difficulty:  2
of 5--for what you get in return on making this, its EASY!

Epicutie Ratings
  • Little Joy:  Somewhat Yummy--They eat the chicken just fine, but at the end of the day she could take or leave it.
  • Little Asher:  Somewhat Yummy--He loved this the first few times it was served but now as with many things he tries to exert his will.  He lollygags but eventually eats it.
  • Little Juliette:  Yummy in the Tummy--Much like her big sister, this girl loves all kinds of food.

I am a warrior!

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About the Authors

This blog was started by two Babywise pen pals to document our adventures in high chair manners, making our own baby food and doing our bests to raise happy, healthy, thriving little ones!

Epicutie #1

Epicutie #1

Little Joy at 2 years, Sept 2012

Epicutie #2

Epicutie #2
Little Frances

Epicutie #3

Epicutie #3
Little Asher at 11 months, Sept 2012

Epicutie #4

Epicutie #4
Little Elizabeth, July 2013
  • Yummy in the Tummy: Epicutie thoroughly enjoyed each bite
  • Somewhat yummy: Epicutie seemed to somewhat enjoy the food at first, but seemed to like it less with subsequent bites
  • Not so sure I like it...yet: Epicutie somewhat rejected the first bites, but seemed intrigued. The next exposure may be better!
  • Confused: Epicutie rejected the first bites, perhaps due to texture or strong flavor.
  • Sour Puss: Epicutie gave a sour face indicating she did not like the food. However--if at first you do not succeed, try, try again!

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