This soup is fantastic! It is rich, comfort food at its best. Good for the body, mind and soul. It does require a bit of time, but it is so worth it. Perfect for a rainy Sunday.
Roasted Chicken Soup with Orzo Spinach and Lemon
6 Chicken thighs, skin on bone in (approx. 1 kg.)
70 g. Orzo pasta, about a handful
1.5 Litres water
60 ml. Extra virgin olive oil
1 Lemon, juice and zest of 1/2
1 Leek, white part only
6 Carrots peeled, left whole
100 g. Whole baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp. Garlic powder
1/2 tbsp. Sweet paprika
1 tbsp. Onion powder
1 tbsp. Coarse sea salt, plus 1 tbsp. more to taste for broth
1 tbsp. Red wine vinegar
Black pepper to taste
A few sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley
Crushed red chilli flakes, to serve optional
Preheat oven to 200 °C (390 °F)
In a large bowl, stir together olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and lemon zest. Throw in thighs and stir to coat all the chicken with marinade.
Tip chicken and all the marinade into an oven safe roasting dish, skin side up .
Place in centre of preheated oven and roast uncovered for 30 minutes.
Chicken will be crisp and golden brown.
Once chicken is cooked, tip chicken and all the pan juices into a large pot.
Add water carrots, leeks, salt and parsley. Cook on a low simmer for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, place a colander over another new clean large pot. Tip entire pot of chicken and broth into colander, lift colander and let broth drain into new clean pot. Now the broth is nice and sieved.
When cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones from chicken and discard. Place chicken thigh meat into pot with sieved broth. Add carrots, cut into chunks to the broth.
Add orzo and place on the hob and continue to cook on a low simmer until orzo is cooked, about 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and taste and adjust salt if needed.
To serve divide spinach between bowl, top with hot soup and crushed red chilli flakes if desired. Hot soup will wilt the spinach perfectly :)