Italian Chicken Soup

It’s that time of year again where the sniffles reign supreme.  In my house, the first hint of a cold calls for chicken soup.  But who wants the same kind every time?  I like to mix it up.  This Italian version has a similar character to minestrone.  Rich and flavorful, it is sure to cure what ails you.  And if it doesn’t, well, it still tastes good, so eat up!

Italian Chicken Soup

Italian Chicken Soup

1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup sliced carrots
6 cups chicken broth
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
2/3 cup dry orzo
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute onions, celery, carrots and garlic in a drizzle of olive oil for a few minutes.  Add chicken and continue to cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink.  Add bay leaf, crushed red pepper, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Keep at a simmer for 30 minutes.  Add cannellini beans and green beans.  Bring back to a low boil.  Add orzo and stir.  Cook another 20 minutes or so until pasta is done and green beans are tender.  Taste and add salt & pepper as needed.  I also like to spike mine with a little hot sauce at the end just for an extra kick.

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