Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
I’ve been feeling very under the weather for the past few days, and since I’ve obviously been on a soup kick, well, this happened. I once had this soup at Panera Bread and fell in love with it, so I decided to make my own version.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cleaned and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 small onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- about 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 or 4 cups water
- 1 lemon, ends removed and sliced thin
- 1 handful kale, sliced thin
- 1 cup orzo (dry)
- salt and pepper, to taste
What to do:
- In a large stockpot, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil while you clean and cut chicken. Add chicken to the pot and let it brown.
- Finely chop onions and garlic; add to pot.
- Wash and peel carrots; cut into thin slices. Wash and slice celery, and add both to pot.
- Gently pour about a cup of white wine (I used 3/4 C pinot grigio because that’s all I had) over your vegetable/chicken mixture and stir. Turn heat to high and let the wine cook down a bit.
- When the wine has reduced and the vegetables begin to soften (after just a couple of minutes), pour in a box of chicken stock (or broth), and about the same amount of water. For me, this came out to 4 cups of stock and 3-4 cups of water.
- Slice a small lemon into very thin slices and add those to the soup.
- Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the flavors have all cooked together.
- Carefully, remove chicken pieces using a slotted spoon (or a fork and wooden spoon in my case) and let cool. When the chicken has cooled, use your fingers to pull it apart into small, bite-sized pieces, and return to soup. Also remove the lemon pieces at this point, if you’d like to.
- Wash and thinly slice a handful (don’t you love my precise measurements?) of kale and add that to the soup as well.
- Return heat to high and add about a cup of orzo. Bring to a boil and let boil for 8-10 minutes, or until the orzo is al dente.
- Remove from heat and ladle into bowls. Enjoy snuggled up on the couch with a blanket and a good movie. Serve with delicious, crusty bread. Make your boyfriend have some even though he’s hot and not in the mood for soup.
Notes: the orzo really soaks up the broth, making for a hearty, filling soup. If you want more broth, use a little less orzo and a little more water. I actually used closer to 2 cups orzo in mine, and ended up having to add more water the next day when I reheated it, because it soaks up even more in the fridge.
My boyfriend found it a bit too lemony, but I love lemon and I thought it was delicious. If you’re not a lemon freak like me, you’ll want to go through and remove the lemon peels when you’re removing the chicken, and possibly use less lemon in the first place. If you’re unsure, use half a lemon and then add a squeeze of juice at the end if you feel like it could use more lemon flavor.
This soup was wonderful. Light yet filling. It really hit the spot in terms of I’m-not-feeling-well comfort food, and was kind of a new twist on the classic chicken noodle soup.
I’m on a roll with soup-making, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. What delicious soups have you made since the cold weather’s kicked in? What should I try my hand at next?