During the first few days of Hurricane Sandy striking and its wretched aftermath, our food routines were thrown out the window. Stomachs growling, no regular meal times, we were all just going through the motions and figuring it out as best as we could. After the initial couple of days, we found ourselves gravitating towards comfort food. Something to make us feel better while everything around us was turned upside down.
Little in the way of fruit or vegetables. We’ll all be going on the Hurricane Sandy diet once life resumes something, anything, that resembles normalcy.
My cravings for fruit and vegetables have been rampant, and explains why the first meal I cooked at home last night featured five different dishes that had fruit or vegetables in it.
It’s all we want.
Well, that and our warm beds.
When it comes to comfort food and my ten-year-old son, Nick, he is all about soup. With the exception of Split Pea, he will eat most any soup, and given it’s a complete meal that warms you from the inside out, it couldn’t be more perfect. Especially during these times of unrest.
I made this recipe for Chicken and Orzo Soup a week or two before Hurricane Sandy had her way with us, and Nick did all but inhale it. And I do believe this is the first time he’s ever willingly eaten cannellini beans. One of my co-workers said it was her second favorite food that I’ve ever brought in for her. In the seven years we’ve worked together.
So there’s that.
It’s super simple to make, especially if you cheat and use rotisserie chicken as I did, and makes a great light but filling meal for dinner, a lunch for brown-bagging it at the office, or even putting into thermoses for your kids’ lunch.
Whether you’re getting back on your feet after last week’s hurricane, or are looking for a quick and easy meal that you can feel good about, this one’s just about perfect.
Psst … for my vegetarian readers, just swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth, and use diced potatoes in place of the chicken.
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Hungry for more soup recipes?
This Cheeseburger Soup is full of stick-to-your-rib goodness.
We had this Beer and Cheddar Soup last night, as part of our “welcome home to us” feast.
Can’t decide between soup or pasta? This Tortellini in Light Broth from Giada De Laurentiis is light, easy, and totally kid-approved.
Chicken and Orzo Soup
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray
1 cup orzo pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound chicken cutlets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used rotisserie chicken instead)
Salt and pepper
8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced crosswise (I skipped)
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
7 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (I skipped)
1.In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orzo until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes; drain.
2.Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and celery and cook until the chicken is golden-brown, about 10 minutes.
3.Stir in the cooked orzo, the beans, chicken broth and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until heated through. Stir in the parsley.