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Simple Chicken Meatball Soup with Orzo

by Rachel Allen from Soup Broth Bread

This simple soup features fragrant sage and chicken meatballs, fresh parsley and is bulked up plenty of orzo for a light spring meal.

From the book

Rachel Allen


A simple and uncomplicated soup, this relies on good chicken stock and delicious, flavoursome meatballs. Orzo, also known as risoni, is a small shaped pasta, not much bigger than a grain of rice. Indeed, rice could replace the pasta for a gluten-free version of this clean restorative soup.

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150g orzo
400g skinless chicken breast (see note)
3 large cloves garlic, crushed or finely grated
1 generous tbsp chopped sage
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle for the top
1 litre chicken stock
2 tbsp chopped parsley


Place a saucepan of water on a high heat with a few good pinches of salt. When it comes to the boil, add the orzo and stir as the water comes back to the boil. Cook the orzo for 8 minutes, or until tender, then drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

While the orzo is cooking, cut the chicken breast meat into chunks, free of any skin or membrane. Place it in a food processor and blend until the meat is finely minced. Tip the meat into a bowl, add the garlic and the chopped sage, and season with salt and pepper. Place a frying pan on a medium heat and drizzle in a little olive oil. Take a small piece, about half a teaspoon, of the chicken mixture and fry it for a couple of minutes, turning it halfway through. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.

Now shape the remaining mixture into meatballs, each about 15g in weight – you should get about 26 balls altogether. Fry them in the olive oil over a medium heat, turning them regularly, until they’re cooked on the inside (they’ll have a firm spring) and golden all over.

Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a saucepan and add the cooked orzo, the meatballs and the chopped parsley. Season to taste.

Serve in warm bowls, with a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the top.

Note: If you prefer, you can just buy minced chicken from your butcher.


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From the book: Soup Broth Bread

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