This Greek Orzo Chicken Soup is easy to make, delicious to eat, and nutritious, and if you prepare it mindfully, it can help your family reduce food waste too.
The topic of Food Waste has been on my mind for quite some time now, because the numbers are just so darn staggering:
> 40% of the food in the United States goes uneaten on any given day, which translates to more than 20 pounds of food waste per person every month.
> From farm to table, a 15% food waste reduction could feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans is food insecure.
The GOOD NEWS: The U.S. is aiming for a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030
When I created this recipe for Greek Orzo Chicken Soup, I did it in a mindful way, paying close attention to reducing food waste every step of the way. This ‘technique’ of cooking mindfully really works because it forces you (in a good way) to think about every ingredient and every scrap of food that’s left over throughout the cooking process.
Indulge me as I walk you through my mindful food-waste-reduction exercise:
(1) Purchase a rotisserie chicken and remove the meat. Set one cup aside for the soup and then place the remaining 3 cups of chicken in a zip-top freezer bag. Label, date, and freeze.
(2) Place the chicken bones in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for later use in a homemade chicken broth.
(3) Open a can of chickpeas. Drain and rinse. Set 3/4 cup aside for the soup and either eat the remaining chickpeas in a salad some time over the next few days or place leftovers in a zip-top freezer bag and freezer for later use.
(4) Wash and peel the carrots and chop the dill. Save the scraps in a zip-top freezer bag, freeze, and add to it over the coming weeks. Use food scraps + chicken bones to make a homemade broth.
(5) Freeze the leftover dill in a zip-top bag for later use or keep the dill fresh by trimming the stems, placing in a small cup of water, covering the cup with a plastic bag, and placing in the fridge. Change the water every day or two.
(6) Make just enough soup to serve four people. Double the recipe ONLY if your family can eat the soup in one sitting, loves leftovers, or if you want to share with friends or freeze the leftovers for another dinner.
- Serves: 4
- Serving size: 1¼ cups
- Calories: 160
- Fat: 2g
- Saturated fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 18g
- Sodium: 260mg
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 17g
- 4 cups low-sodium, all-natural chicken broth
- ⅓ cup whole wheat orzo
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- 1 cup roughly chopped or shredded cooked chicken (5 to 6 ounces)
- ¾ cup chickpeas, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
- Crumbled feta cheese, optional
- Place the broth in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and carrot, raise the heat, and return to a boil.
- Cook the pasta at a low boil until done, about 8 minutes. Stir in the chicken, chickpeas, and dill and heat through. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in individual bowls and top with extra chickpeas, dill, and feta cheese as desired.
Please share the food waste reduction tips and tricks that have worked for you.