Nov 102012

Yes, yes, I’m late again…I know.  This week has been absurdly busy.  First there was that whole hurricane thing, then a trip home to meet my new nephew Owen, then an a cappella concert, then a blizzard, then a midterm, and last but not least, a killer cold.  When I woke up today, barely able to breathe, I knew chicken soup was exactly what I needed.  But at the same time I was craving something super spicy–something that would make me feel/taste something again.  I decided there had to be a way to combine the two, and that’s when I stumbled upon this Buffalo Chicken Soup recipe.  Let’s just say I’m feeling better already!

This soup is filling and healthy, and still has all the flavors (and kick) of buffalo chicken.  The other great thing about this recipe is that it literally took a total of 30 minutes to make.  Perfect when you’re sick and lazy.  

Nutritional Highlights:  This buffalo chicken soup will satisfy your cravings without all that fried chicken-wing goodness.  This recipe uses lots of vegetables (onion, carrot, celery), chicken breast chunks, and whole wheat orzo.  Sure, there’s some blue cheese on top, but a little bit won’t hurt and is completely necessary for this recipe.  Not only is this the perfect soup to help kick your cold, but would also be perfect for Sunday night football (or is it monday? it feels like every day these days…).

Buffalo Chicken and Orzo Soup
adapted from Bake Your Day


2/3 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta (or other mini pasta of your choice)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
3 medium carrots, roughly chopped

3 celery ribs, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons ranch dressing seasoning mix (like hidden valley)
3 Tbs. fresh cilantro, divided
32 ounces chicken stock
2/3 cup Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
4 ounces low fat shredded cheese (I used a cheddar/jack mix)
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (I used grilled chicken strips from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup green onions, chopped and divided
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles


Cook orzo according to package directions until about half-way done. Save 1 cup of pasta water, drain remaining water, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or large soup pot. Sauté yellow onion, garlic and half of the green onions in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until the onions are opaque and fragrant. Add carrots, ranch dressing seasoning and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Stir to combine and sauté until the carrots begin to soften, about 8-10 minutes.

Add chicken broth, buffalo sauce, and shredded cheese. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender, but still have a slight bite.
Bring the soup to a boil, add the chicken, cup of reserved pasta water, and underdone orzo and stir frequently until orzo is al dente.
Serve with sliced green onions, additional cilantro and blue cheese crumbles.

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