The first time that I attempted this soup it was just an idea to re-create a soup that I loved from a Greek Restaurant (Zorba’s) near my sister’s house in Chapin, SC. I read many recipes and relied on my memory of the taste of that soup when creating this soup. I think Zorba’s recipe used rice instead of orzo, but many of the recipes I read used orzo and I thought it would hold up better in soup. I told you that I would let you know how it went and to be honest I got busy and forgot. When I was making my menu this week I remembered how delicious this soup had turned out so I’m making it again this week. Then I remembered that I had forgotten to share the recipe. I hope you enjoy it.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Salt and white pepper
3 tablespoons flour
½ box (4oz) orzo
4-6 cups chicken broth
Wide strips lemon zest (removed with a vegetable peeler from 1 lemon), plus the juice of 2 lemons
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken breast, skin removed
3 large eggs
Handful of baby spinach, coarsely chopped
Butter or olive oil
Salt, pepper, Greek seasoning, garlic powder
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, if desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and lemon zest strips (keep 2 strips to cook with orzo); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook a few minutes. In a separate pot, bring 4 cups chicken broth to a boil; add orzo and 2 strips of lemon zest. Cook 8 minutes (al dente). Drain orzo and retain broth. Add broth to pot with sautéed vegetables, adding enough water/broth to make 6 cups.
Whisk the eggs and lemon juice in a bowl; drizzle 1/2 cup of the hot broth into the eggs, whisking constantly. Gradually stir the hot egg mixture into the pot. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. If soup does not reach desired thickness, use a little cornstarch to thicken. Stir in the chicken and spinach. Season with salt and pepper (and additional lemon juice) if needed.
Lightly brush pitas with olive oil or butter and season with Greek seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sprinkle with feta cheese if desired. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until the cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes