Creamy Spinach and Lemon Soup with Orzo

One of the many reasons I love the autumn and winter months is because there is a chill in the air and it's the perfect excuse to have soups, chowders, chilis, bisques etc. I'm a sucker for warm comfort food.
I'd pinned this recipe a while back but hadn't had the chance to make it. Then I got this "review" from a friend who had found it on my 'cooking inspirations' board and decided I had to make it asap!

"FYI, I tried a recipe on your Pinterest food board. It was spinach lemon orzo soup. I roasted chicken to add to it since my family "thinks" a meal without meat is incomplete... It was awesome, very simple, not too lemony, perfectly creamy without being dairy, and a two thumbs up from all. I have been sick for 2 weeks and this hit the spot the last three days! Thanks lots for finding that!"

We enjoyed this along with some toasted homemade cheesebread and crackers. When I reheated the leftovers over the next couple days the soup had thickened and become even more flavorful and creamy. 
Pita chips are a perfect addition to this meal!

Creamy Spinach and Lemon Soup with Orzo 
 recipe from thekitchn.com
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, smashed or minced
1 large onion
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes  (*I will reduce this to 1/2 teaspoon next time)
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess water
1 1/2 cups orzo
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 eggs
Juice of 3 lemons (*I will reduce this to one or two next time)
Fresh parsley, chopped (to serve)
Fresh-grated Parmesan (to serve)

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Cook the garlic and onion over medium heat until fragrant and slightly translucent. Turn the heat to medium high and add the red pepper flakes, spinach, and orzo. Cook for about a minute, then add the broth.

Bring to a light simmer, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the orzo is just barely tender. Take the soup off the heat and let it cool down for a moment or two.

Whisk eggs vigorously in a largish bowl, then whisk in the lemon juice. Whisk for a couple minutes; the mixture should be thick, pale yellow, and creamy. 
Add a small ladleful of the soup broth to the eggs and whisk vigorously. 
(If you want to be really sure not to curdle the eggs, take a ladle of soup and cool it a bit before tempering the eggs.) Whisk in two more ladles of soup broth, whisking each well and letting them cool.
Add the egg mixture to the soup pot, whisking very well. 

Return to very low heat, stirring the whole time. 
Cook carefully over low heat until the soup has thickened slightly. 
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and Parmesan if desired.
Yields 4-6 servings.

*If your family isn't a huge fan of lemons, you can reduce the amount of lemon juice or omit it all together. 
It will still be a flavorful creamy soup your family will love.

*Stir in some cooked chicken for a more hearty soup.

*Parmesan cheese is an excellent addition to this dish!

*Serve with pita chips, crackers, toasted bread or grilled cheese sandwiches. 

*When preparing this soup as leftovers, take care to reheat it gently so as not to curdle the eggs. It will be much thicker and creamier than it was on the first night it was made and served. And that's not a bad thing! 


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