2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
sea salt and ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced small
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 carrot, diced small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teapoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2/3 cup orzo or other small pasta
grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, salt and pepper, and sauté just until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
- Turn heat to medium and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions, carrots, celery and green pepper and cook about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and fennel seed and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken back in and continue simmering a few minutes until chicken is heated through.
- While soup is simmering, cook the pasta in a separate pot in salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the soup.
- Remove bay leaf and serve with Parmesan sprinkled on top.