- 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3/4 pound chicken tenders, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, grated or finely chopped
- 1/3 pound mushroom caps, quartered
- Salt and pepper
- 2/3 cup orzo pasta
- 2 cups arugula, chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for passing around the table
In a medium size soup pot, bring the chicken stock and 2 cups water to a low boil.
Meanwhile, in another soup pot, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and bay leaf, then stir in the onion, carrot and mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook the vegetables until softened, 6-7 minutes.
Pour the hot stock over the vegetables and bring to a boil. Stir in the orzo and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the arugula and basil to wilt. Stir in the lemon peel, discard the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lots of grated cheese at the table.