Buffalo Bleu Chicken Soup

Its been cold.   Very cold.   One of the "pros" when deciding to move to Missouri 2 years ago, was that the Show Me state had a more moderate climate.   Tell that to old man winter this year.  Today, the high is -4 with a windchill between -25 and -30.  Hello?   When did that become moderate?   Thankfully, the native Wisconsin blood that pulses through this body knows how to feed a half frozen family - its called soups and stews!

So when searching on pinterest for a new recipe (sorry kids, I wasn't in a corn chowder mood), I came across a picture for a Buffalo Chicken Soup.   I followed the links, but they were dead - to just pics and no recipe.  I turned to google ands struck gold.  

Buffalo Bleu Chicken Soup
This soup, adapted from several different recipes I found (isn't that how it always goes), reminded me of a dear friend back in Wisconsin.   We share a love of bleu cheese, gorgonzola, the really creamy, danish and very bleu of them all.   What makes this recipe - is the bleu cheese at the end.  My husband does not share our love for this type of cheese and he still enjoyed it immensely, but really, if you are a bleu cheese lover, try it without and then with and you will understand completely when I say, it's a creamy, tangy and zippier soup with, than without!

So for Forrest, here is the recipe:

Buffalo Bleu Chicken Soup

Serves 4

1/2 c uncooked orzo pasta
1 T olive oil
1/4 c sweet onion, chopped
1 T garlic paste or chunky garlic paste 
2 c (approximately) baby carrots, cut in half
1 T Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix (I buy a large container of the mix, instead of the envelopes)
3 T Cilantro  (you can use fresh or I also use Gourmet Garden as well, depending on the quality of fresh available)
32 oz of Chicken Stock (not broth)
2/3 c your favorite brand of hot sauce
2 T butter
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese
4 oz parmesan cheese
2 cups cooked chicken (I buy one of the rotisserie chickens, pull the meat off and then use it through the week.  Great Bargin at usually 5-6$!)
1/4 c green onions, chopped
1/4 c bleu cheese, crumbled.   For this recipe, I used a buttermilk Bleu - it was fabulous.

Cook orzo in already boiling, salted water, til partially cooked, approximately 3 minutes.   Drain and put aside until later.  

Heat olive in heavy soup-stew pot.  (A type of cast-iron stew pot works great).   Saute onion for a few minutes.  Add garlic paste and half the green onions.  Cook for a few more minutes, til onion is translucent.

Add carrots.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add ranch dressing mix and cilantro.  Stir togethers.

Add chicken stock, hot sauce, cheddar and parmesan cheese.    Stir together.  Add chicken.    Bring entire mix to a simmer.   Reduce heat and simmer 10 minute.  Carrots will be tender, but still have a crunch.

Serve with condiments (this is where the bleu cheese comes in play) - green onions and crumbled bleu cheese.

Printable Buffalo Bleu Chicken Soup