Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
If there was ever a season for soup, we are soooo in it right now. It has been the snowiest winter in many years! Every time I look at the forecast there’s snow in it. Sometimes, it doesn’t amount to anything. Sometimes, we get totally dumped on. I’d say there are about two feet of snow on the ground right now. I haven’t seen grass in weeks. The boys haven’t had a decent place to do their business in forever. When we walk them, they kind of just go in the street and look at us like, “Is this cool?” And as I’ve said before, I really don’t care for snow, but I love snow days. I love being cozy inside. And deep down, I’ll admit, I kind of like the excuse to not have to go anywhere or do anything. I don’t feel this way any other time of year, but during these cold winter months, I could stay in every night, binge Netflix and eat this Italian Chicken Orzo Egg Drop Soup.
I’ve been making some iteration of this soup for most of my adult life. It’s simple, pretty clean and really comforting. It all started when we didn’t have much money or cooking skills and just started throwing whatever we had in the house into a pot on the stove. Sometimes we had greens, other times we didn’t. Sometimes we had chicken defrosted, other times not. The staples of the original version of this Italian Chicken Orzo Egg Drop Soup were the orzo, egg and parmesan cheese. Oh, the nights when we had a good loaf of crusty bread were the best. We’d just break off chunks of the bread and dunk them into the salty broth and it was pure, simple heaven.
The chicken makes this soup much more of a balanced meal. I keep homemade Italian seasoning in the fridge most of the time, and I use it to season the chicken for this Italian Chicken Orzo Egg Drop Soup and also on my Sausage & Pesto Calzones. The seasoning blend is pretty simple and you probably have most of the ingredients already on hand. Why do I keep it in the fridge? Two reasons. First, there’s parmesan cheese, so right there, you’ve gotta. Second, there’s crushed red pepper. Being sort of “raised” by Italian cooks, I have always been advised to keep my red pepper in the fridge. I never asked why. Turns out, all of your red spices (like chili powder and paprika too) should be kept in the fridge to keep them at optimal freshness. So yeah. Keep the Italian seasoning in the fridge. And if you don’t feel like making your own, there are plenty of good seasoning blends that you can buy at the supermarket.
And while you’re there, grab your favorite green. I use baby spinach because it’s mild, nutrient-packed and the whole family will eat it. If I tried coming at them with kale or swiss chard there would be a full-on revolt. But just pick a dark, leafy green of your choice. And then get ready for the best part – the egg drop!
The most fun part of making this Italian Chicken Orzo Egg Drop Soup is dropping the beaten egg right into the hot broth and watching it scramble into little ribbons right before your eyes! It’s sort of like making funnel cake.
And then, just grab a loaf of your favorite crusty bread and settle in. It may be cold outside, but you’ll be warm and cozy with this big bowl o’ love. Enjoy!
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 cups dry orzo pasta
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 quarts chicken broth
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- Italian seasoning (see below)
- 2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
Combine all of the ingredients for the Italian Seasoning in a shallow bowl. Coat chicken in the seasoning, pressing to adhere. Heat oil over medium heat in a nonstick pan. Brown the chicken, 5-7 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove chicken onto a cutting board and shred with forks.
Bring broth to a boil in a large stockpot. Beat the eggs and pour them into a glass measuring cup, or anything that has a spout. Add orzo to the broth. and cook 1 minute. Lower heat to a simmer and pour in the egg. Add the chicken and spinach.
Ladle soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.