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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This lemon chicken orzo soup is packed with great flavors and good-for-you ingredients. With a few shortcuts, you can have this soup on the table in 30 minutes or less!

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword lemon chicken orzo soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 161 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion ~1/2 large onion
  • 1 cup diced celery ~3-4 stalks
  • 1 cup diced carrot ~3 carrots
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chicken boullion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: fine sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup UNCOOKED orzo pasta Note 1
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded/chopped Note 2
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped baby spinach
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest Note 3
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Optional: fresh thyme, parmesan cheese, and crusty bread for serving

Instructions

  1. MIREPOIX: Add olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add in onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until the onion is translucent and veggies are crisp tender, stirring occasionally, about 7-9 minutes (Reduce heat if veggies are browning) Add in the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. While veggies are cooking, measure out all the spices.

  2. SEASON: Add in the spices (chicken bouillon powder, salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, thyme, and Italian seasoning) and stir around for 30 seconds. Add in the chicken broth and bay leaf. Increase heat to a boil. Once boiling, add in the orzo pasta. Boil according to package directions, subtracting 2 minutes from what the package says.

  3. CHICKEN/SPINACH: Stir in the shredded rotisserie chicken and then spinach. Gently stir to warm through chicken and allow spinach to wilt, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season to taste if any additional salt/pepper is needed.

  4. SERVE: Ladle into bowls and garnish if desired with fresh thyme. Add parmesan cheese if desired to individual bowls. Serve with crusty bread.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: if you want to have leftovers of this soup, I recommend cooking the orzo pasta separately and then adding a few spoonfuls into individual soup bowls. When storing this soup, the pasta continues to bloat and take on liquid.

Note 2: if your grocery store sells it, grab a lemon herb seasoned rotisserie chicken for extra lemon and herby flavor.

Note 3: add lemon juice and zest gradually to personal taste preferences. What is written is how we love it, but you may like slightly less or slightly more. If you're a huge lemon lover, you can also add in some lemon herb seasoning (Mrs. Dash) or lemon pepper instead of regular pepper to the soup.