Winter Musings

It’s a pretty amazing thing when a hard time makes you realize how many people will emerge from the sidelines to hold your hand. I’m feeling grateful these days, just in time for Thanksgiving I suppose. It can get lonely living here, among the cornfields of the heartland. It takes a lot more effort to feel connected, so feelin’ the love from family and friends becomes extra meaningful. In Madison I could practically walk out my front door and feel connected to a vibrant community of people. Even walking through a neighborhood or listening to the buzz of voices in a coffee shop gives you the feeling of being a part of something. It’s one of the things I miss most.

But without further ado, it’s time for soup. It’s starting to really feel like winter here in the Midwest. Part of me does miss summer (and, you know, being able to go outside without the extra 10 minutes of bundling), but I also love the flow of the seasons. Even if it means brown landscapes and bitter cold seeping through my gloves…. Because it also means cozy sweaters, cute scarves, and an excuse to buy new boots. Aside from cozy cold-weather fashion, winter also means big pots of soup on the stove, hot apple cider, and gingerbread lattes.

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This chicken soup was on regular rotation for B and me last winter.

It’s a light, comforting meal in a bowl, and it’s so fragrant from the dill and lemon. The biscuits are optional of course, but they make this meal indulgent and special. Flaky and buttery, they are the perfect complement to the light soup.

And we all know, biscuits would totally beat dinner rolls in a fight.

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*Photo cred again goes to Baruch

For the biscuits, I will direct you to Smitten Kitchen. She is a master recipe adapter, and I always find her notes spot-on.

Chicken Orzo Soup with Lemon and Dill

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium leek, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces (submerge slices in water in a small bowl – dirt/grit will sink to the bottom)

1 celery stalk, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces

12 oz bone-in chicken thighs

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup orzo

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

juice of 1 lemon

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leek and celery and cook until soft, about 5-8 minutes.

2. Add chicken and broth (or water) to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer (covered) until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken to a plate. Allow to cool slightly and shred into bite-sized pieces.

4. Return soup to a boil and add orzo. Cook until al dente (refer to time on the package – should be about 9 minutes).

5. Remove pot from heat and stir in dill and lemon juice.

 

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