Orzo Chicken Soup recipe

Nothing like breaking your fast during Ramadan with a heartwarming spoonful of traditional Egyptian Orzo Chicken Soup from Authentic Egyptian Cooking: From the Table of Abou El Sid by Nehal Leheta (AUC Press, 2020, paperback edition). With Ramadan just around the corner, this is a recipe to have taped to your fridge.

Serves: 2 – 4

Preparing the chicken soup: 40 minutes
Preparing the orzo: 5 minutes
Mixing: 10 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1 chicken breast (about 100g/¼ lb.)
  • 1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 225g /1 cup orzo (also called risoni)
  • 1 ½ tsp flour
  • Juice of ½ lemon (optional)
Preparing the chicken soup
  1. Heat oil and butter together in a saucepan.
  2. Add grated onion, and saute until it turns golden brown. Boil chicken breast for half an hour, and add dissolved chicken stock cube, salt, white pepper, bay leaf, and cardamom pod.
  3. Add 1 ½ tsp flour and stir.
Preparing the orzo

1. Fry the orzo with a little corn oil in a pan until it turns golden brown.
2. Drain off the oil.
3. Add the orzo to the soup over medium heat, and boil for 10 min until the orzo expands.
4. Remove from heat.

Can be served with the juice of a lemon!

Orzo Chicken Soup is one of Egypt’s most frequently served soups. It is known as shorbet lesan ‘asfour. The origin of its name came from the shape of the orzo or risoni pasta. It is literally translated as ‘bird’s tongue.’

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