Chicken,  Love your leftovers,  Recipes,  Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

As soon as the weather turns colder I find myself throwing a big bag of yellow onions and a package of carrots into my grocery cart. My instinctual need to make soup arrives along with fall, and this is the soup I return to again and again all winter. This is my chicken soup for the soul…therapeutic to make, to smell in the air and best of all to eat. A warm bowl of this soup, sprinkled with some freshly grated Parmesan, is simply what soup is supposed to be.

Chock full of tender chicken and bright lemon flavor
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Author: Kate Wagner
Serves: 8-12
If you have never made homemade soup, or it’s just not your thing, I encourage you to give this soup a try. It’s a straightforward recipe and this soup freezes beautifully. The lemon really makes this soup special, it has such a bright taste from the combination of the juice and the zest. Feel free to add more veggies to this recipe, I think spinach or kale, added at the end, would be delicious. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 2 Onions, yellow, medium, diced
  • 6 Carrots, diced
  • 4 Celery, diced
  • 6 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt plus 1/2 tsp
  • 1 tbsp Thyme or Oregano, dried
  • 10 cups Chicken broth, low-sodium or homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups Orzo
  • 2 – 2 1/4 lbs. Chicken breast, cooked and shredded (approximately 3 breasts) (see note)
  • 2 Lemons, large, juice and zest
  • Grated Parmesan to serve (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onions, carrots and celery and saute, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, 1 tsp Kosher salt and thyme or oregano and continue to cook the vegetables until lightly browned, another 5 minutes.
  4. Next add the chicken broth and increase the heat to high.
  5. Once the broth begins to boil, turn the heat back down to medium-high and add the orzo.
  6. Cook for 6 minutes and immediately remove the Dutch oven from the burner (you don’t want to overcook the orzo).
  7. Add chicken, lemon juice and zest and 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  8. Stir to combine and return the pot to the burner. Heat to simmer and allow the flavors to meld, simmering for 30 additional minutes.
  9. Serve right away, or refrigerate for up to 4 days. This soup can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Notes
If you don’t have any cooked and shredded chicken you can easily cook some as part of this recipe. Once you reach the stage of the recipe where you add the chicken broth, you would add the broth than add the chicken to be cooked. Holding off on cooking the orzo until the chicken breasts are cooked.[br]Basically you would be inserting an additional step into the recipe.[br]Simmer chicken over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. [br]Internal temperature should be 160 (it will come up to the required 165 while it rests).[br]Remove chicken to a plate to cool before shredding.

 

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