Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Chockfull of hearty veggies and tender chicken in a refreshing lemony broth – it’s pure comfort in a bowl!
We’ve been having such gorgeous 70-degree weather out here in the Bay Area. I can finally run in my shorts and take long walks in my flip flops. But even in this perfect weather, I could still always use a bowl of chicken noodle soup. It doesn’t even matter if I’m sick with the flu or if I have the cleanest bill of health – this soup can be eaten any day of the week, any time of day!
But don’t be fooled – this isn’t your ordinary chicken noodle soup. The traditional noodles are swapped out and orzo is used instead, which is a pasta shaped like a large grain of rice. And my favorite part about this soup is the freshly squeezed lemon juice. It’s pure comfort in a bowl with a hint of refreshing, lemony goodness. Plus, this comes together in just 30 minutes, filling the house with the most amazing aroma.
So there you have it – quick, easy, hearty and sure to be a hit with the entire family. You can’t beat that!
Chockfull of hearty veggies and tender chicken in a refreshing lemony broth - it's pure comfort in a bowl!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaves and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Stir in orzo, rosemary and chicken; reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve immediately.
Adapted from foodiecrush
Why It’s A Smart Choice
This is a whole, balanced meal in one bowl! In terms of nutrients, there’s a nice balance of protein, fat, carbs, and water. In terms of food groups, this soup has veggies, meat, and grains. Packing a balanced lunch doesn’t get any easier than taking a bowl of this soup to work or school!
Nutritional information provided by Jessica Penner, RD at Smart Nutrition.