Chicken, mushroom and orzo soup

For my birthday this year Mum and Dad really kindly gave me a Kenwood super machine… it literally has everything from electric whisk, blender and grater to the old school magimix… I am in total kitchen gadget heaven! Having brought the beast back to London last night, I put it straight to use and decided to make a batch of soup for the week.

Ingredients for 5 helpings:

  • 4 chicken thighs with the bone in
  • 1 pint of fresh chicken stock (either make your own or buy the fresh stuff)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • handful of dried porcini mushrooms
  • half a punnet of button mushrooms
  • 1-2 leeks
  • orzo pasta (roughly 75g per portion)
  • salt and pepper

Firstly, finely chop the onion and garlic and sweat in a heavy bottomed pan in some butter with the lid on. While this is cooking, boil the kettle and submerge the porcini mushrooms in boiling water to bring them back to life.

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Using the rest of the kettle, gently poach your chicken thighs in simmering water, for about 15 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Once the onions are really soft, add your chopped leeks and button mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook with the lid on until really nice and soft before adding the chicken stock and continuing to cook.

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Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the water and leave to cool for a bit before shredding into bitesize pieces. Using the water used to poach the chicken, boil the orzo pasta until cooked (usually about 7 minutes.)

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Add the porcini mushrooms and a bit of the soaking liquid to the vegetables and stock mix, season with plenty of salt and pepper, and then allow this to return to room temperature before blending. Make sure you don’t add all the porcini liquid as you don’t want the the grit which will have sunk to the bottom of the bowl. If it’s a bit thick still, add some of the liquid used to poach the thighs and cook the orzo.

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Once the soup is blended, bring back to a simmer, add the chicken and orzo and ensure it’s all piping hot. Now I know it’s not the best colour, but trust me… the taste isΒ seriously numma. Why not add a little truffle oil if you are feeling decadent or some parmesan shavings if you want to spruce this up for a dinner party, or alternatively whack the mix in a tupperware and take it to work for lunch.

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