Thursday, October 14, 2010

Second Annual Fall Festival Recipe Exchange: Butternut & Chicken Soup with Orzo

All right, so yeah, I'm still taking a break from book blogging, but the cooking and baking around here only stops when my stomach and nose can't get along. (That hasn't been a problem since first trimester.)

Last year, I posted two recipes for My Friend Amy's fall recipe exchange: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes and Cheese Ravioli with Pumpkin Sauce.

This year, I've decided to post one of the soups I've most looked forward to since I planted my butternut squash in the spring.

Butternut & Chicken Soup with Orzo

  • 1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled & cubed
  • 8 cups water
  • 1-1.5 lb chicken breast, cubed or shredded
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced green chili pepper
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta
  • 1/2-1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  1. Cook butternut in water till it's soft; optional: drain some (a cup or two) of the water.
  2. Purée using immersion blender or food processor--or just smash up with spoon.
  3. In skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add garlic, peppers and spices; stir until fragrant. Add chicken cubes and cook with the lid on till done, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add cooked chicken to butternut.
  5. Add uncooked pasta to butternut.
  6. Adjust salt, pepper and water depending on taste and consistency of soup required.
  7. Allow to boil on medium heat until pasta is cooked, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add cream and cilantro; simmer 10-15 minutes before serving.
Just a few notes: This is a very forgiving recipe--very hard to mess up, very easy to adjust to taste. I think that you can roast the butternut instead of cubing and peeling (which is very time consuming), but I haven't tried it (and if you do, don't forget to add water--or chicken broth--to the soup to thin it out a bit). I'll be adding G. Washington's Golden Broth seasoning when I make it this fall; that stuff makes everything taste better. The above is my variation of this soup recipe at