Chicken soup is the best when you’re feeling low. A common feeling during cancer treatment. This Tarragon & Lemon Chicken Soup is a version of the classic which is not only soothing but also... delicious. To get the delicate anise flavor that makes this simple soup so very good, you’re going to need to use fresh tarragon, dry just won’t cut it. The flavor of soft leaved herbs like tarragon, parsley, and basil don’t survive the drying process well.
In a heavy bottomed pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and a sprinkle of salt. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onions are translucent, do not let brown.
Add the 6 cups of water, tarragon sprigs, lemon peel, and chicken on the bone. Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 40 minutes, skimming any foam or fat on the surfaces. Add a little water if the soup has reduced by more than 1 inch.
Remove the chicken and place into a bowl, let cool slightly then shred the meat and discard the bones. Return the chicken meat to the soup, bring to boil, then add in the orzo. Boil for 7 minutes then stir in the lemon juice, taste for seasonings then turn off the heat.
Ladle into bowls and serve with a sprinkling of fresh tarragon.
If you can’t find fresh tarragon, try a handful of fresh basil leaves instead. It won’t be the same taste, but it will a lot better than using dried herbs.