Guest Author - Sandie Jarrett
Chicken Gumbo Soup is easy to prepare using my basic recipe. Instantly stretch to serve by thinning with additional chicken stock and more seasonings. When preparing this or any soup recipe for someone that is ill, use a kind hand when adding spices and use finely chopped vegetables.
Makes 4 generous servings
Total yield approximately 48 ounces
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1-1/2 cups frozen Okra, thawed and drained, cut into 1/4 inch rounds, stems discarded
1/2 teaspoon celery sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fine ground black pepper
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite sized pieces
Salt & pepper to taste
2 teaspoons Basic Chicken Seasoning Blend
1/4 teaspoon Classic Cajun Seasoning Blend, or to taste
1 quart Chicken Stock
1 cup orzo
Heat a heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Drizzle with 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onions, celery, and bell pepper; sauté until the onions are transparent. Add the carrot, celery sea salt, black pepper, sage, and thyme; sauté 3 minutes. Remove the vegetable from the pan and set aside.
Reheat the skillet over medium high heat. Drizzle with 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the cut up chicken and season to taste with salt & pepper. Sauté until the chicken is just golden in color. Remove from heat and add cooked vegetables to the pan and season with chicken seasoning and Cajun seasoning; toss to blend.
Meanwhile, in a 2 quart pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the orzo. If the chicken stock is bland, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste. Bring back to a boil and cook, uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes or until just tender.
Turn down the heat to low and add the cooked chicken/vegetable mixture to the cooked orzo. Add the Okra and heat gently. Adjust seasonings, if necessary and serve.
Avoid slimy okra by never allowing it to boil!
Thaw okra in warm water. Drain well before adding to soup.
I like to make this a savory dish, rather that a hot and spicy one.
Because the orzo will continue to absorb liquid, this soup is best served at once. To prepare in advance, simply cook the chicken and vegetables as directed, cool, and store in refrigerator. About 25 minutes before serving, prepare the orzo in the stock as directed, turn down the heat to low, add the chicken/vegetable mixture and thoroughly heat through. Add the thawed and drained okra and heat a few more minutes.
If leftovers are too thick, simply stir in a little chicken stock. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
For a thicker soup, simply allow the orzo to absorb more liquid.