Chicken soup for the bowl

When things have hit an all-time low – like when you were forced to fire one of your gardeners; when you found out your husband was cheating (on his diet); when the artist that was going to do your screening room in trompe l’oeil broke her hand; when your best friend bought an outfit just like yours except for the color and pattern; when your power went out for nearly ten full minutes right when you were watching "The Real Housewives of Orange County"; when you found out they discontinued your favorite nail polish color; when you suddenly ran out of Bounce just as the laundress arrived – there’s nothing like a steaming bowl of the most comforting and well-loved soup in the world. Okay, I’ve changed it just a little. But I think you’ll like it. 

Chicken and Meatball Soup with Orzo        

1 large onion, chopped       

2 tablespoons butter       

8 cups chicken stock or broth       

1 can (8 oz.) diced tomatoes, juice and all       

About 3 cups raw, diced chicken breast       

1 ½ lbs. lean, ground sirloin       

4 cloves garlic, minced       

2 tablespoons dried oregano leaves       

8 ounces orzo or other small pasta       

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 

In a large soup pot, cook onion in melted butter until softened. Add chicken stock and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and add chicken. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together sirloin and garlic. Form small (about 1”) meatballs. Add meatballs to soup and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in oregano, pasta and vinegar and simmer 10 more minutes, or until pasta is tender.

Robin Benzle is a radio and television personality and hosts the food and travel website, She lives in Bay Village.

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Volume 2, Issue 2, Posted 1:20 PM, 01.12.2010