Saturday, June 16, 2012
The Lost Arts: Slow Food
This summer, I've been doing things a little differently. Just taking a step back and looking at ways to make life a little slower, a little simpler, a little richer. I call it The Lost Arts. You know, the things our grandparents knew but we've forgotten.
Today's Lost Art: Slow Food. Yep, it's pretty much the opposite of fast food. It's food made at home, with my own ingredients so I know what I'm serving my family. It's food that takes a little thought and preparation. Simple food. Delicious food. Food that will make a table of hungry boys happy.
This week, I made my own version of a soup I'd first tried at Panera's (that's Breadco for my Missouri friends!). Lemon Chicken Orzo soup. Mmm. I studied the ingredients and told myself "You can do this!" And so I did. I served it with homemade (not out of a can) baking powder biscuits. Biscuits are the easiest thing in the world to make. A few ingredients in a mixer, knead some dough on a floured counter top, cut out and bake. Easy, but with a HUGE payoff. Tell me, what boy does not love warm biscuits topped with a little butter and local honey? It's like dessert that gets served with the dinner entree!
The base of this soup is one that I use for many other variations, and it calls for stewing chicken. Don't be afraid! Stewing chicken is not that difficult! It is merely onions, celery, carrots and chicken breasts in a pot of water, left to slowly boil until it makes a yummy stock. It's chicken broth, only not out of a can. Homemade. From scratch. And it makes all the difference in your soups. Trust me on this!
Here's my recipe for the soup.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
To stew chicken:
1 medium diced onion
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
2-3 chopped carrots
8 cups water
2 chicken breasts (with bone and skin)
salt, pepper, parsley, chicken boullion seasoning
1/2 c. orzo
1 bag fresh spinach
Put all of the stewing ingredients in a large stock pot and let simmer on low boil for app. one hour. Check the flavor of the stock and add seasonings as needed. ( I like to use a little L.B.Jamison's chicken soup base in place of chicken boullion, but Wylers brand works well, too). Remove chicken breast and set aside. Bring pot back to boil. Add fresh juice of two lemons, then add 1/2 cup of orzo (trust me, it doesn't look like much, but it will grow! If you add more like I did, you'll end up with a casserole instead of soup!). Remove skin and bone from chicken. Dice chicken and add back to pot. Chop 1 bag of fresh spinach and add to pot. Stir until spinach has wilted down and cooked. Serve. For extra fanciness, add a thin slice of lemon to the bowl of soup for garnish.
Slow food. A lost art that the whole family will appreciate!