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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is the meal you cook when your family is under the weather. Full of chicken, veggies, orzo, and lemon – this healing soup is one we make again and again.

Soup Season at our home looks like a constant rotations of flavors and textures. We love a spicy Turkey Taco Soup, some delicious Sweet Potato Curry Soup, or this healthy Detox Lentil Soup any given night of the week!

Overhead shot of a bowl of chicken orzo soup with lemon slices.

Chicken Soup

Many of you can probably relate to the premise that chicken soup makes everything better. I grew up with a mom who made a lot of soup, and I do believe that it helps heal. But do you know what we were given for sore throats/colds? A big shot of whiskey!

My dad would pull out the bottle and make me swig when I was having trouble breathing. I’m not sure if it worked, but maybe it just knocked me out for the night. Because you know when you’re a parent, you suffer through countless sleepless nights, and you just want to SLEEP.

So you’re thinking….“Did you give your boys shots of whiskey?”. The answer is no. We went with conventional meds from the pharmacy, thank you very much. 😀

Why we LOVE this soup:

  • SIMPLE INGREDIENTS – This is a classic chicken noodle soup with just a few additions like some extra seasonings and a couple of big squeezes of lemon. A simple recipe.
  • SEMI-HOMEMADE – Using rotisserie chicken makes this soup it easier than cooking your own chicken. I love using this shortcut.
  • HEALTHY – There are plenty of veggies and protein in this bowl of goodness. The lemon really brightens up the flavors too.
A stock pot of the chicken soup with orzo and lemon.

Ingredients needed for Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup:

  • Olive Oil plus Butter – Use extra virgin olive oil plus a little butter for sautéing the veggies.
  • Veggies – The usuals – onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.
  • Seasonings – Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper are my mainstays. I also used Italian seasoning and onion powder.
  • Flour – I added some flour to create a little thickness to the soup. This is totally optional and it won’t change the soup that much if you leave it out.
  • Broth – I use lower sodium chicken broth so I can control the salt content better.
  • Chicken – Use a rotisserie chicken for a shortcut, or make your own.
  • Pasta – Use orzo, or any other pasta you prefer.
  • Lemon – The finishing touch that brings out a wonderful lemony flavor!
The lemon chicken orzo soup ingredients in separate bowls.

How to make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup:

Step 1
Shred chicken. If using a rotisserie chicken, shred it and measure out about 4-5 cups for the soup.

Step 2
Sauté Veggies. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter until melted. Then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook until slightly softened, approximately 5-6 minutes.

Step 3
Add garlic and seasonings. Add garlic, seasonings, and flour – and stir for a couple of minute to fully incorporate the flour (if using). You can skip the flour if preferred. It helps to slightly thicken the soup but isn’t required for taste.

Step 4
Add broth. Pour the broth into the stock pot and bring to a boil. Add a sprig of rosemary or thyme as the broth simmers, if desired.

Step 5
Add orzo. When soup is simmering, add orzo pasta and cook until al dente, approximately 8-10 minutes. You’ll need to use a metal spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot as the orzo cooks (because the orzo sticks to the bottom).

Step 6
Add chicken. As the orzo gets close to being tender, add the rotisserie chicken and stir.

Step 7
Finish. Add the freshly squeezed lemon, and let simmer for a couple of minutes or until piping hot.

A lemon squeezer squeezing into the stock pot of soup.

Step 8
Serve. Serve the soup with some extra freshly ground black pepper, and some salty crackers.

If using raw chicken in soup:

If cooking chicken. Slice chicken in two inch cubes, season with salt and pepper, and add to the stock pot. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove chicken from the pot and let cool slightly. When cooled, shred with two forks, or add to a standing mixer with a strong paddle attachment to shred. Add the shredded chicken to the pot in place of the rotisserie chicken mentioned above.

Side view of two bowls of lemon chicken orzo soup.

Recipe Tips:

  • If you’d rather cook your own chicken for this soup recipe, you can do that instead of using rotisserie chicken.
  • Feel free to add or adjust the veggies. I like to add shredded cabbage to this healthy soup recipe.
  • You can add other types of pasta instead of orzo, if desired.

What to serve with Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup:

Other healing soups on the blog:

Closeup shot of a bowl of chicken orzo soup with lemon.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

A bowl of chicken orzo soup with lemon.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is the meal you cook when your family is under the weather. Full of chicken, veggies, orzo, and lemon – this healing soup is one we make again and again.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 5 2-cup servings
Calories: 493kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion – diced
  • 3 large carrots – diced
  • 3 stalks celery – diced
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 8-10 cups lower sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour – optional (to thicken slightly)
  • 4 cups cooked rotisserie chicken – shredded (see notes to cook your own chicken)
  • 1 1/4 cups orzo pasta
  • 1 large lemon – freshly squeezed
  • rosemary sprig – optional, for flavoring

Instructions

  • Shred chicken. If using a rotisserie chicken, shred it and measure out about 4-5 cups for the soup.
  • Sauté Veggies. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter until melted. Then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook until slightly softened, approximately 5-6 minutes.
  • Add garlic and seasonings. Add garlic, seasonings, and flour – and stir for a couple of minute to fully incorporate the flour (if using). You can skip the flour if preferred. It helps to slightly thicken the soup but isn’t required for taste.
  • Add broth. Pour the broth into the stock pot and bring to a boil. Add a sprig of rosemary or thyme as the broth simmers, if desired.
  • Add orzo. When soup is simmering, add orzo pasta and cook until al dente, approximately 8-10 minutes. You’ll need to use a metal spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot as the orzo cooks (because the orzo sticks to the bottom).
  • Add chicken. As the orzo gets close to being tender, add the rotisserie chicken and stir.
  • Finish. Add the freshly squeezed lemon, and let simmer for a couple of minutes or until piping hot.
  • Serve. Serve the soup with some extra freshly ground black pepper, and some salty crackers.

Notes

If cooking chicken instead of using rotisserie chicken:
 Slice chicken in two inch cubes, season with salt and pepper, and add to the stock pot. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove chicken from the pot and let cool slightly. When cooled, shred with two forks, or add to a standing mixer with a strong paddle attachment to shred. Add the shredded chicken to the pot in place of the rotisserie chicken mentioned above.

Nutrition

Calories: 493kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 549mg | Potassium: 1024mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 7427IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!
Overhead shot of a large bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup, with a gray and white napkin.

4 Comments

  1. Oh my, made this for Sunday dinner and it was sooo good!! Such a quick and easy recipe will come in handy if sick or not sick.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I’m so happy that you liked the soup, Shari! 🙂

  2. I might try both. The soup followed with a shot of whiskey… just in case your Dad was right. ❤️✅?

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