lemon chicken soup with orzo

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~ lemon chicken soup with orzo ~

“Of all the items on the menu, soup is that which exacts the most delicate perfection and the strictest attention.”~Auguste Escoffier

We love love love soup in this house. A couple days ago I was watching the snow was fall outside my kitchen window as I made a big pot of this fragrant, delicious ambrosia. This is a very healthy soup, and the eggs added to the broth at the end makes it creamy and rich without all the fat and calories. Enjoy with a slice of THIS bread and a glass of sauv blanc or vouvray.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 big boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small chunks

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

2 Tablespoons fresh thyme

6 cups low-sodium, organic chicken broth

1 cup orzo

zest of 1/2 lemon

juice of one lemon

2 large eggs

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil in a big soup pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and add it to the pot. Cook, stirring a few times for about 5 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a dish and set aside.

Add the 2 remaining Tablespoons oil to the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot and thyme and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes.) Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and allow to simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Lower the heat down to keep the soup hot but NOT boiling.

In a separate saucepan, warm the remaining 1 cup of broth until it is hot, but NOT boiling. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually beat the lemon juice into the eggs. Slowly add to the hot broth in the saucepan, whisking constantly until the broth and egg mixture are fully incorporated. Add this to the soup, stirring well until thickened. Don’t allow the soup to come to a boil or it will scramble your eggs. Add the cooked chicken to the soup. Add the pepper and more salt if needed. Serve.



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  25 comments for “lemon chicken soup with orzo

  1. Kimber
    January 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    OHHH I can’t believe I have all the ingredients for this!! I’m making it for dinner!! WOO HOO!!

    • Melissa
      January 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      enjoy Kimber! xo

    • September 30, 2012 at 10:51 am

      Can’t wait to try this. I love ‘comfort soup’ and orzo. But I’m intimidated by the eggs. I’m scared I’ll accidentally scramble them and ruin the soup. Can I omit the eggs? Thanks!

      • Melissa
        September 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

        Hi Claire! hmmmmm…. well, you could omit the eggs, but it won’t be as good. The eggs really make this soup creamy and rich. 😉 maybe if you omit the eggs you could add a little cream to thicken it a bit, but part of what I really like about this recipe is the creaminess without all the added fat.

  2. January 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I have an annoying habit of blending the heck out of every soup I make because I really like smooth soups, but you know – sometimes chunky is good! I even bought orzo the other day for the first time, hooray 🙂

    • Melissa
      January 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      hee hee 🙂 this is a really good, easy soup. I think you’ll like it. LOVE orzo!

  3. January 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Looks wonderful Melissa!

    • Melissa
      January 31, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      thanks Carrie!

  4. February 2, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I haven’t cooked with orzo in too long. This soup looks wonderful.

    • Melissa
      February 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

      I just made this a few nights ago and my husband requested it again 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting. enjoy!

  5. Kimber
    February 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    YUP – delicious!!! I somehow overcooked the chicken so it was tough, but we decided we would eat it without chicken next time and it would be just as good. As it was, we picked around it this time anyway so we don’t think we’ll miss it. It was soooooo yummy and Dalton wanted me to tell you that the “little noodle rice things really added something extra to it” that he liked. We’ve had orzo before the little goof. Anyway, was going to ask if this is your creation or if you got the recipe from somewhere??

    • Melissa
      February 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      aw! tell Dalton I think he’s a sweetie 🙂 oh…and this recipe is all mine. xoxo

      • Kimber
        February 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm

        Ohhhh I love it!! Makes it even better that it’s your recipe!! Thanks!!

        • Melissa
          February 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm

          you’re welcome!

  6. September 30, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I make something very similar! Love lemon chicken soup when I am sick, so lovely 🙂

    • Melissa
      September 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      thanks for visiting Becky! xo 🙂

  7. Deb
    September 30, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Just made your soup with chicken thighs as they were ready to use. We always have orzo in the kitchen. Delicious!

    • Melissa
      September 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      yay! glad you enjoyed it! xo 🙂

  8. January 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I am making this tonight! I worked at a Greek restaurant when I was in college, and the chef made lemon orzo soup! It was so good! This sounds so much like it!!

    • Melissa
      January 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Hi Jeni! glad you like the recipe. it’s definitely a favorite at our house 🙂 thanks for visiting!

  9. Ruth Cobb
    September 23, 2013 at 10:47 am

    This is my favorite soup at Panera Bread. Now I can make my own. Thanks

    • Melissa
      September 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      Hi Ruth! Enjoy the recipe 🙂 It’s definitely a favorite, warming meal in our house. Happy Autumn! XO

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