Up until this summer, I had given up all hope of my boys showing any interest in playing a musical instrument. As a former music major and someone who started playing the flute when I was nine, I secretly hoped for a family trio. Unless you count the thump of a soccer ball against the side of the house as music, my secret hope was not meant to be.
At the end of elementary school in June, my youngest son (T) announced that he wanted to play the trombone in the middle school band. First, I did a not-so-silent fist pump, then reflected on the fact that T had picked the perfect instrument for his personality. Trombonist friends that I knew in college collectively described themselves as “trouble looking for a place to happen”, but “funny and friendly”. Anyone that knows T and his mischievous, but well-intentioned, ways would say, “Yep, that’s him.”
I also distinctly remember my trombonist friends being able to consume copious amounts of food and beer. Thankfully, we’re not at the beer stage with T, but the boy does love his food. So, I see it as my motherly duty to keep my little brass player well-fueled with healthy meals for his musical endeavors.
This easy soup is on of those recipes that involves rummaging around in your fridge and pantry for some staple items: chicken breasts, whole wheat pasta, crushed tomatoes, carrots and so forth. Nothing fancy. Just good, hearty comfort food, perfect for trombonists or any other “funny and friendly” types.
Other healthy chicken recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa
Cookin’ Canuck’s Baked Hummus Chicken Tenders
Healthy Seasonal Recipes’ Healthy Chicken Piccata
Gimme Some Oven’s Skinny Orange Chicken
Healthy Delicious’ Baked Chicken & Spinach Flautas
Easy Chicken, Tomato & Orzo Soup Recipe
This easy soup is always a crowd pleaser. Using standard ingredients in your fridge and pantry, it comes together without a trip to the grocery store!
- 3 tsp olive oil, divided
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 –inch pieces
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, cut into half-circles
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 tsp ground oregano
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 5 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2/3 cup whole wheat orzo
- 1 (14 oz.) can low-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, salt and pepper, and sauté until just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a bowl.
- Turn the heat to medium and heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in the saucepan. Add the onions and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the orzo and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in the chickpeas and heat for about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the parsley. Serve.
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