The 2020 Holidays Recipe Collection
How you doin’? Fall is here and there is a chill in the air. Are you feeling a little peaked or under the weather? That’s the way I felt on one of my last trips to Rome.
Le Terme Del Colosseo is a beautiful restaurant located between the Colosseum and the Imperial Forums. I was feeling a little under the weather when I visited Rome and didn’t want a whole lot to eat. That could be considered a crime in Rome when you feel you must try everything on the menu, or at least I do. I told the waiter of my dilemma. He said I have just the solution for you. It is Zuppa Di Orzo Di Pollo Al Limone (Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup). He described it as an Italian version of Jewish matzo ball soup—Jewish penicillin—and that it would have me feeling great in a half hour.
It wasn’t on the menu, but he asked the chef to make it for me. That’s just the way this restaurant is along with many others in Italy. If they have the ingredients, many chefs will cook special orders for you.
If you are going to Rome any time soon (post Covid-19), be sure to put Le Terme del Colosseo on your “must do” list. It is convenient for lunch while sightseeing, and dinner is a real experience where diners are entertained by "Roman Fantasy"… costumed singers who will take your breath away. Their repertoire includes all the most famous and well-known Italian folk and opera songs and therefore is suitable for all—Italian and non-Italian alike.
When my steaming caldron of special soup arrived tableside, I could see it was comprised of tender chunks of chicken in a lemony broth with orzo pasta, carrots, onions, celery and shards of baby spinach. The waiter cracked an egg, separated the yolk from the white and streamed the egg white into the hot soup (something like a Chinese egg drop soup). This has now become one of my favorite soups to enjoy on cool fall evenings.
By the way, it worked! Thirty minutes after the soup arrived, I was combing through the menu for my next courses.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: 6 servings about 3 quarts
4 ounces orzo pasta (uncooked)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 carrot, chopped, or more to taste
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 yellow onion (medium), chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
6 ounces cooked chicken breast, chopped
1 large egg separated (just use the egg white for this recipe) optional
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 lemon, sliced for garnish
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
ChefSecret: You’ll love the look of the egg white threads throughout the soup. It really upscales the whole offering making it ideal for a main course.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “Does anyone else think Halloween was totally unnecessary this year. Afterall, I’ve been wearing a mask and eating candy for the last 7 months.”
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Here is wishing you the very best for the holidays. To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind welcoming in the holiday season. If you have a little extra in your pockets to share with others at this difficult time, please consider donating to Feeding America. Thanks for reading.
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