Sunday, February 24, 2013

Horse Camp, The Munsters and Chicken Meatball Spinach Orzo Soup #SundaySupper


Horse Camp- circa 1982

I’m an introvert (it's true!)  But I've never been afraid of just going for it, especially in my early years.
I met my horse two weeks before and we seemed to get on well enough.  I’d fed him and cleaned his hooves and learned proper saddling. But that day- the last day of camp, I flew. It was pure canter with him.
Sitting on his back trotting around the ring, while all the parents waited anxiously in the stands for the final equestrian vaulting demonstration, I froze.  I couldn't breathe. But I focused on the sound of his hooves hitting the dirt in perfect synchronicity, while he circled on a long lead round and around.

Not sure how I made it up that day. and if wasn't for a letter home from camp that my Mom showed me over the holidays, I'd have thought it was a dream.  Me, standing on his back, arms stretched out to the side- flying.  My horse, that day, ran in circles for what seemed like forever... while time stood still.

At 12, we were naive  We were wannabe gymnasts, doing tricks on the backs of our beloved horses. And falling meant something very different then, than now.  Perhaps because we knew someone was always there to pick us back up.



So what does that have to do with soup?

When I think of soup, even now, time stands still. I remember the smell of Mom's homemade soup simmering on the stove through really good times, some hard times... and even a few heartbreaks.

Nights that were so cold, we thought we just might die (yea, I lived in Santa Barbara and had no idea of the true meaning of cold).  The time when we wanted a simple, but good and hearty meal after that long drive home from Horse Camp.  And those days that I was picked up from school with sniffles, or a sore throat, or even when I wiped out on the playground bars and needed 3 stitches on the right side of my forehead.  Mom, would heat up some Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup (with ice cubes to then cool it down) while I would watch the Munsters.  Funny, as for the next few weeks Herman Munster and I could have passed for twins.

So, soup? Simple.  It's a place of comfort and safety that magically wipes out any fear of falling (or failing).




Soup is good food.

And this Sunday, our theme is just that.  Special thanks to our host this week, Pam at The Meltaways and all the amazing contributors.  Sure to be one of my favorite weeks yet- can't wait to try these recipes!
Chicken Meatball Spinach Soup

1 lb. ground chicken
2 large boxes chicken broth (add as much or as little as you'd like- but I like making alot for leftovers)
1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 leeks, washes well and sliced into thin half moons (just the white part)
1/2 lb. orzo
1/2 package fresh spinach
Juice of a lime (this is key as it add such a nice bright flavor.  I add to almost all my soups.)
1 tablespoon seasonings of choice (I use Parisien Bonnes Herbes from Penzeys)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Romano Cheese, grated (optional)

Open chicken packet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Then roll into 1-1/2" balls.  Brown in a skillet with oil, and sprinkle on seasonings if desired.  In the meantime, in a soup pot add the leeks and onions to oil, salt and pepper and saute until soft.  Add in the chicken broth and seasonings of choice and bring to a boil. Then add in the orzo and cook according to package directions- about 8 minutes.  Once soft, add in the spinach, juice of the lime and the meatballs to warm and wilt the spinach for just a few minutes.  Ladle it up in bowls and top with Romano cheese.


Want more soup recipes? The #SundaySupper family dug out their stock pots and slow cookers to serve up these amazing soups:

Do The Chicken Dance (chicken {or other poultry} soups)


Where’s The Beef (Beef Soups)


Pass The Pork. Please (Pork or Sausage Soups)


Under The Sea (Seafood Soups)


Eat Your Veggies (Chock Full o’ Vegetables Soups)


Some Don’t Like It Hot (Chilled Soups)


49 comments:

  1. This is a complete meal, not just soup Diana! Isn´t it the ultimate comfort food? I love that it brings back memories of your horse. Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Paula! And yes, we've had it two nights in a row... so comforting on cold rainy nights here in the South! ;-)

      Delete
  2. I often make a similar soup, but use just chicken instead of chicken meatballs. I need to try this soon love spinach, orzo, and meatballs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lane! It's so simple, and I love that you can switch out the veggies- I often add in some asparagus too! Hope you enjoy it! ;-)

      Delete
  3. I love it! I like that you made the meatballs with chicken! So perfect!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer! I even season them with salt and pepper while still in the package before I roll them out to save time. Hope you enjoy! ;-)

      Delete
  4. I swear horses are as heartwarming as soup. Thank you for sharing your story. I love your soup recipe. It looks amazing. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shannon! After horse camp, my parents bought me one... miss Baby! ;-) Hope you enjoy the soup, and thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. I love meatballs, and putting them in soup is so yummy! And I am so glad you used chicken!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Erin! I love meatballs too- they're so much fun! I tried this with turkey but the chicken was far moister. The trick is making sure to add them in at the very end (cooked) so they don't dry out! Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I want those chicken meat balls right now! This soup looks so good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Arlene! Hope you enjoy it! ;-)

      Delete
  8. Mmmmm...you're right, soup IS good food! And I would love this bowl...as brothy soups are my absolute favorite. Now all I need is a re-run of The Munsters ♥.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Heather! And yes, The Munsters were awesome... always cracked me up ;-)

      Delete
  9. Those meatballs look incredible! What a great soup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Susan! I hope you enjoy it!

      Delete
  10. What a wonderful story! I can see you now, flying on the back of your beautiful horse. And what a tasty warm and comforting soup, I love the combination of orzo, spinach and leeks. And I completely agree about the drizzle of lime!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of fun memories at Horse Camp... thank Stacy! Thank you so much for stopping by here!

      Delete
  11. Love this soup!! Great post and pictures!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tara! I am so grateful to part of this #SundaySupper group... so much fun!

      Delete
  12. It's amazing how a dish can remind you of younger days. Nice soup!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks DB! Your Miso soup sounds fantastic too!

      Delete
  13. This looks like such a lovely but simple soup (the best kind!). I wish I had a big bowl for lunch!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Amanda! I also LOVE simple cooking... thanks for stopping by! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love that you used ground chicken!! And of course Orzo, LOVE it, it's my new fav. Thanks for sharing I want to try it now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tammi! I hope you enjoy it. Just having another bowl now, and yum! ;-)

      Delete
  16. Gorgeous soup! I have recently turned my husband into an orzo lover. He would enjoy this :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Conni! Let me know how you and your husband like it! ;-)

      Delete
  17. Chicken meatballs sound like a good choice, Di!

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a gorgeous soup...simple and tasty! Who can beat that????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Liz! What a fun week with soup! Thanks for stopping by ;-)

      Delete
  19. I love meatball soup! This looks so comforting. And your description makes me wish I was still young enough to have my mom take care of me when I'm sick with some great homemade soup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Courtney! Thanks so much. Yea, I wish I could be a kid again some times too. Luckily when I go home to visit my folks, my Mom still makes homey, yummy soup!

      Delete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I agree, citrus gives such a nice bright flavor to soup! You know, I had to chuckle when I read how cold it was in Santa Barbara :)

    Fantastic recipe! ~ Bea @ Galactosemia in PDX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bea! And yes, the first time I visited my folks after they moved to the South, I got off the plane in shorts and tennies in the dead of Winter (no jacket.) It was then that I truly understood cold lol! ;-) Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  22. ooo perfect soup! This would be great for a cold night!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Angie! This has been SUCH a fun week with #SundaySupper. Excited that you're hosting next week!

      Delete
  23. Delicious soup and wonderful that it brought back such memories for you.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Soup is good food. Love this!! and love this post. . memories of horse camp and chicken soup with your mom .. so lovely! Love your chicken meatball soup!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Alice! Such happy memories. Hope you enjoy the soup!! ;-)

      Delete
  25. What a beautiful recipe that is now on my must try list! Your photography is absolutely gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much- so grateful to be part of this all! Hope you and your family enjoy it ;-)

      Delete
  26. You are a beautiful storyteller AND chef! Thank you so much for sharing your story and recipe =) Love, love the image of flying on your horse...and of course can relate to comforting soup to soothe soar throats and such.

    P.s. Very much would appreciate your asparagus soup recipe with shrimp on the rim as described at the last #SundaySupper. But no hurry. I've just arrived in Tokyo =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! Thank you so much! I also have been really enjoying your blog and recipes! I sent you a comment through your site a few days ago about the soup- I'm so sorry you didn't get it! I think the asparagus recipe is still in storage from my recent move, as I couldn't find it. But, I'm going to work on recreating it, as it's so yummy! I'll send it to you once I have it written out. And have fun in Tokyo... would LOVE to visit there some day! Safe travels! ;-)

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment! It always brings a smile...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...