After I watched one episode of Trisha Yearwood’s Southern Kitchen, I was hooked! I know she often cooks Southern dishes, but Trisha has a wide range of culinary skills — one of the things I love about her. The other thing, of course, is her magnificent vocal range.
She also makes dishes from other cultures, notably from the Mediterranean region. And her Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup recipe really caught my eye.
In this recipe, I’m gonna try my hand at making a Trisha Yearwood Chicken Orzo soup copycat. One difference, definitely, is it won’t be served in a jar! My family will surely appreciate a larger serving of soup.
Orzo and Other Soup Pasta
I love the fact that she made orzo a part of her soup recipe. Orzo is such a versatile ingredient! This rice-shaped pasta is made from semolina wheat and can be used the same way as any pasta or it can be cooked and served the same way as rice.
Didn’t find orzo in your local supermarket? Try a similar pasta, called risoni or riso, which looks like large grains of rice. The grains are slightly larger than orzo, but should taste the same. In fact, many people use these names interchangeably because of their oval rice-like shape.
Another good substitute is semi di melone, or melon seed pasta, which is popular with kids. They really do look like melon seeds. If you encounter pasta that’s labeled as midolline, it’s a pastina that’s quite similar to semi di melone, orzo, or risoni.
Tips in Cooking Chicken Orzo Soup
No need to cook the pasta before adding to the soup. In this recipe, the orzo is added after the mirepoix is done and mixed with the chicken stock. The pasta will have absorbed the flavors evenly and made for a savory soup.
Make sure you use pasta that’s made from good quality durum semolina wheat. Good pasta will hold its form when exposed to high heat. If you bought cheap, low quality brands, your pasta could easily turn to mush.
Spinach is used to add color and flavor, but you can also use fresh basil leaves. Another option is to add sundried tomatoes and parmesan cheese to intensify the flavors.Print