Foodie, Recipes

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 35-40 mins


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise ½” thick
  • 2 celery stalk, sliced
  • 2 carrot peeled and sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme or rosemary (dried or freshl
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breast *
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup orzo
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Dill or parsley 
  • Lemon halves (for serving)


  1. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add leek, celery, carrots and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme and lemon zest.
  2. Add chicken and broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool, then shred or chop chicken into bite-size pieces.
  3. Meanwhile, return broth to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Test for seasoning. Stir in the shredded chicken, spinach and dill. Simmer another couple of minutes until spinach is wilted then serve with lemon halves or wedges for squeezing over. Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, use either your microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat.

Recipe Notes

  • To make it avgolemono you will need 2-3 eggs, and juice of 3–4 lemons (about ½ cup). With the pot off the heat when soup is done. Whisk the eggs and lemon juice together in a small bowl. The idea here is to warm up the egg mixture slowly (without scrambling the eggs). Slowly add a scoop of the soup into the egg mixture. Then add your warmed egg mixture back to the soup pot – stirring constantly, until smooth and creamy. 
  • Feel free to add extra veggies to this one if you like. I love to add green peas to mine too.
  • Feel free to substitute the leek for one large yellow onion.
  • If you would like use leftover roasted chicken or rotisserie chicken – you can. You should have approx 3 cups of shredded chicken.
  • If not serving the lemon chicken soup right away, you’ll notice that the liquid disappears slowly. The starches soak up the liquid. Just add some stock to the soup for a less thick consistency, and when storing or reheating later.

Apdapted from Epicurious

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