Soups & Salads

Lemon Orzo Soup

Posted: July 1

Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

recipe image

This light and cozy Greek-style Lemon Orzo Soup is the perfect summer soup for enjoying in the sun. With hearty veggies, warm shredded chicken, and a pop of zesty lemon, this soup tastes simultaneously bright and relaxing, almost like a sunbath in a bowl. Lemon Orzo Soup features tender cooked orzo, which soaks in the flavors and adds to the soup’s heartiness. Whether you are, it’s a beautiful day with a bowl of this soup.


1 pound chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, and pounded to about 1/2-inch thick
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 cup dried orzo pasta
1 parmesan rind, optional
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
parmesan cheese, optional, shredded, for serving
parsley, optional, for garnish
lemon slices, optional, for garnish


Step 1

Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

Step 2

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large cast-iron pot over medium-high heat on the stovetop.

Step 3

Add the chicken and sear on both sides until browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Step 4

Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside, leaving the oil in the pot.

Step 5

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pot.

Step 6

Add the carrots, celery, and onion and saute for about 3 minutes.

Step 7

Move the vegetables to the side of the pan.

Step 8

Add the garlic to the now open side of the pan and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 9

Pour in the chicken broth, oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 10

Return the chicken to the pot.

Step 11

Bring the mixture to a simmer.

Step 12

Add the orzo and parmesan rind, mixing to combine.

Step 13

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover.

Step 14

Let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through, reading 165 degrees F in the center of its thickest part on an instant-read thermometer, about 8-10 minutes.

Step 15

Remove the parmesan rind and the chicken. Discard the parmesan rind and transfer the chicken to a cutting board.

Step 16

Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes.

Step 17

Shred the chicken with a fork.

Step 18

While the chicken rests, continue to cook the soup covered.

Step 19

Return the shredded chicken to the soup along with the lemon zest and lemon juice, heating everything through.

Step 20

Serve warm with the parmesan cheese, parsley, and lemon slices.

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