Because this simple variation on chicken-noodle soup includes so few ingredients, it is important to use the best chicken broth or stock you can find. Look for high-quality broth in the freezer section of gourmet groceries and well-stocked supermarkets. You can cook the chicken at home or purchase a rotisserie chicken from a supermarket or delicatessen.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2006).
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cup orzo, pastina or other small pasta shape
- 6 ounces baby spinach
- 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 Sauté the vegetables:In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and marjoram and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes more. Add the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
- 2 Cook the pasta: Add the pasta to the simmering soup and cook until the pasta is al dente, 3 to 4 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Add the spinach and chicken and cook, stirring, until the spinach has wilted and the chicken is warmed through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- 3 Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Serve immediately and pass the remaining cheese at the table. Serves 4.