Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup


80 min

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup Photo 1


Broccoli soup


80 min


12 persons




4.00 rating-star (489)


Author: Victoria Bailey
This lemon chicken orzo soup is inspired by Panera Bread's version. 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 very favorite soup recipes.


  • orzo pasta : 8 ounces
  • olive oil : 1 tsp
  • carrots, chopped, or more to taste : 3 medium
  • celery, chopped : 3 ribs
  • onion, chopped : 1 medium
  • garlic, minced : 2 clove
  • dried thyme : 0.5 tsp
  • dried oregano : 0.5 tsp
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste : 0 piece
  • bay leaf : 1 piece
  • (32 ounce) cartons fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth : 3 cartons
  • fresh lemon juice : 0.5 cup
  • lemon, zested : 1 piece
  • cooked chicken breast, chopped : 8 ounces
  • (8 ounce) package baby spinach leaves : 1 pack
  • lemon, sliced for garnish (Optional) : 1 piece
  • grated Parmesan cheese (Optional) : 0.25 cup

Metric Conversion

Stages of cooking

  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. 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, 5 to 7 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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