This delicious Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup recipe is the perfect alternative to the traditional chicken soup. Packed with chicken, orzo, and kale, and a twist of lemon, this fast and easy soup (30 min) will warm your soul on a chilly day!
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Once the weather turns chilly, soup becomes a frequent addition to the menu here in our house.
On more than one occasion my husband and I have made a couple soups for dinners for the week, only to find them eaten ahead of time by the kids. I guess it’s good because we know they’re eating healthy snacks…but it’s not so great when you think you have something ready to go for dinner, and you find the pot almost empty when you go to heat it up!
Chicken soup is one of our favorites…I find a steaming hot bowl of chicken soup so comforting! But I like to change it up from the standard chicken noodle sometimes, and orzo gives soup such a nice texture. I feel the same way about kale. Kale holds up so nicely in soups. But you could definitely use spinach as well.
This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is really easy to make…you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or possibly even less!
You’re going to sauté your onion until it softens and becomes translucent, which should only take a couple of minutes. Then add your shredded carrot, and sauté another minute for so.
Add your stock or broth and bring it to a boil. We tend to make our own stock, but you can use premade stock or broth as well. Wondering what the difference between stock and broth is? I was always under the impression that when you use bones, you’re making stock. Simmering the bones in water results in a gelatiny mixture when cool; when heated, it will give your soup more body. However, I’ve also seen an explanation that the distinction between the two has more to do with seasoning. A broth is seasoned as you wish and can stand alone as a dish in it’s own right; whereas a stock is a base for a dish. Of course, if you’re making a soup with a stock, you’re going to season it, so then technically according to the second definition, it would become a broth. The bottom line is, feel free to use either one. I’ve used them both, and I guarantee your soup will be delicious either way.
Once your stock / broth is boiling, you’ll reduce the heat to medium and add your orzo. You don’t want to cook the orzo for the time it says on the package, because the orzo will continue to cook in the soup, and you definitely don’t want it to get soft and squishy. Six minutes should work just about right.
Now you’re ready to add your chopped chicken and chopped kale. This soup is a great way to use up leftovers from a roasted chicken, but you can also use a rotisserie chicken. Once you’ve added the chicken and kale, cook for another minute or so, and then remove your chicken orzo soup from the heat.
Add your lemon juice and lemon slices, and ladle soup into bowls. If you have extra that you are saving for leftovers, make sure to remove the lemon slices before storing it. The lemon slices will make the soup taste bitter if left in too long.
How easy was that?! This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup literally comes together in no time at all. I’m allotting 30 minutes from start to finish, but you could definitely get it on the table even quicker if you were in a hurry.
- 1 onion, chopped
- ½ cup carrot, shredded
- 12 cups homemade chicken stock or broth (can also use premade)
- 3 cups chicken, chopped
- 2 cups kale, ribs removed and leaves finely chopped
- 1 cup orzo
- ¼ cup lemon juice plus 2 slices of lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sauté chopped onion in olive oil until translucent, 2-3 minutes.
- Add carrots to onion, and sauté another minute.
- Add stock or broth to onions and carrots and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat to medium, and add orzo.
- After 6 minutes, add chopped chicken and kale, cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and add lemon slices to soup.
Have you ever tried lemon in your soup? Are you as addicted to it as much as I am?
For more great soup recipes, check out my Pinterest board. I guarantee you’ll find lots of great soup recipes for the winter months ahead!