Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
With the colder weather I have been thinking about soups more and I thought that I would start out with this nice and hearty, light and bright lemon chicken orzo soup. This soup is essentially a take on a chicken noodle soup using orzo as the 'noodle' and it emphasizes brightness by the use of lemon juice and zest along with plenty of fresh parsley. In addition, I like to add a touch of thyme for some earthiness and a bit of tarragon which perfectly complements the bright flavours of the soup and adds a hint of the exotic with its anise-y and vanilla-y undertones! This soup is pure comfort food that is absolutely amazing on a cold winter day, it's hot, filling and it adds a bit of summery sunshine to your day! What's even better is that it takes less than 30 minutes to make and it will fit into your New Year's diet resolutions!

I like to start this soup off with a full chicken to make my own chicken broth and then use the poached chickens meat in the soup itself but it's also great, and so much quicker and easier to make, with pre-made chicken broth and pre-cooked chicken! Either way you make it, be ready for a blissful experience of light and healthy comfort in a bowl!

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Servings: 8 (1 cup servings)

A quick and easy homemade chicken and orzo soup that is nice, light and satisfying and just packed with the brightness of summer with the fresh lemon, parsley and a hint of tarragon!

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup orzo (gluten free for gluten free)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped (optional)
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  1. Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add the onions, carrot and celery and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add the chicken broth or stock, chicken and orzo, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the orzo is just tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix in the, lemon juice, zest, tarragon and parsley.

Note: I like to use the chicken from the chicken that I used to make the chicken broth but you could use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken from another dish. If you use fresh chicken, cook it in the pot in some oil before step one.
Option: Mix in 1/4 cup finely grated parmigiano regginao (parmesan) in the last step.
Slow Cooker: Optionally implement step 1, place everything except the orzo, lemon, tarragon and parsley in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours before adding the orzo, cooking on high until tender, about 10 minutes, and mixing in the lemon, tarragon and parsley. Another option is to use whole chicken breasts or thighs, placing them in the slow cooker with everything and pulling them out, shredding and returning to the soup when it is done cooking.
Nutrition Facts: Calories 172, Fat 3.2g (Saturated 0.5g, Trans 0), Cholesterol 27mg, Sodium 322mg, Carbs 20.5g (Fiber 2g, Sugars 3.2g), Protein 14.8g
Nutrition by: Nutritional facts powered by Edamam


Maria said...

Great recipe to keep you warm!

naomi {@bakersroyale} said...

I need a huge pot of this - so comforting and good looking.

We Are Not Martha said...

What a beautiful soup! And so, so perfect for this super chilly January day!


Heather Christo said...

perfect cold weather dinner!

Poshnessary com said...

Love this. Have to try it

Kisses from www.poshnessary.com

Julie Wampler said...

Love that you added orzo in this for a spin on the classic!!

Anabelle said...

Perfect soup! Reminds me of summer :)))

marla {Family Fresh Cooking} said...

Healthy comfort food, I love it!

cbhourican said...

I love the flavor! I think I may have done something wrong, since it turned out to be a pretty thick broth. Shoot!

Kevin Lynch said...

cbhourican: When you say thick, do you mean that there was a lot of ingredients compared to broth or that the broth itself had a thick consistency?

Leigh Wheeler said...

Had it tonight! It was really good. Loved the lemon and the orzo. It was a good change from the usual chicken soup.

Kevin Lynch said...

Leigh Wheeler: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Gillie said...

Absolutely delicious! Enjoyed by both of us and tonight the other one is out for dinner so guess who gets to eat the leftovers 😋
I cooked the orzo separately and poured the soup over it. Do not leave out the tarragon, it's terrific in there!

Kevin Lynch said...

Gillie: I'm glad you enjoyed it! I love using the tarragon in this soup!

Unknown said...

One of my favorite soups. So good and great alone or with a half of sandwich on a cold day.

Lynette said...

Two questions...do you think this soup would freeze ok? Also, I happen to have fresh cilantro on hand rather than parsley. Would it completely change the taste to sub in cilantro instead of parsley (realizing that they both have a different flavor, obviously!)? Thanks!

Kevin Lynch said...

Lynette: This soup freezes well and I think that the cilantro version would be amazing!

Stephanie Burroughs said...

When do I add the tarragon

Kevin Lynch said...

Stephanie Burroughs: You add it in the last step with the lemon and parsley; I updated the recipe!

Unknown said...

Did you use fresh or dried herb?

Kevin Lynch said...

Unknown: I use fresh but dried should be ok.

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