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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup



This lemon chicken orzo soup is comfort in a bowl. It is so flavorful with tender pieces of chicken in a lemony broth with orzo pasta, carrots, onions, celery, and baby spinach. This has quickly become one of my family's favorite soup recipes.


    • 8 ounces orzo pasta
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 3 medium carrots, chopped, or more to taste
    • 3 ribs celery, chopped
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • salt and ground black pepper to taste
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 3 (32 ounce) cartons fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
    • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1 lemon, zested
    • 8 ounces cooked chicken breast, chopped
    • 1 (8 ounce) package baby spinach leaves
    • 1 lemon, sliced for garnish (Optional)
    • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in orzo and return to a boil. Cook pasta uncovered until partially cooked through but not yet soft, about 5 minutes; drain and rinse with cold water until cooled completely.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion; cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften and onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Season mixture with thyme, oregano, bay leaf, salt, and black pepper; continue cooking another 30 seconds before pouring chicken broth into the pot.
  3. Bring broth to a boil. Partially cover the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir orzo, lemon juice, and lemon zest into broth; add chicken. Cook until chicken and orzo are heated through, about 5 minutes. Add baby spinach; cook until spinach wilts into broth and orzo is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with lemon slices and Parmesan cheese.

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