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Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

JOY BAUER - SUPERFOOD FRIDAY: Lemon Chicken Soup + White Bean Chili + Spicy Hot Chocolate
JOY BAUER - SUPERFOOD FRIDAY: Lemon Chicken Soup + White Bean Chili + Spicy Hot ChocolateNathan Congleton / TODAY
10 cups

Chef notes

This soup, which combines tender chicken, delicate orzo and citrusy goodness, is a great big bowl of sunshine on a chilly day. It’s flavorful and cozy, but also a breeze to make — you can whip it up and slurp away or freeze for future meals. You can also make easy swaps to personalize: any small whole-grain pasta works, choose the seasonings you like best and add in whatever veggies you prefer or have on hand. You can even use a store-bought rotisserie or leftover chicken to make it incredibly simple. I’m a souper fan of this recipe and I’m hoping you love it as much as I do!

You can make this soup ahead of time and freeze for future meals. The only thing to keep in mind is the orzo tends to lose its shape and will disintegrate into the soup, creating a thicker, starchier — but just as deliciosu — result. It’s not as textured as if you were to make and enjoy it fresh. If it’s too thick for you, you can add a bit more broth to thin it out when reheating.

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  • olive oil spray
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 medium carrots, diced into thin coins (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole-grain orzo (or any small whole-grain pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh dill (optional)



Liberally coat a large pot with olive oil spray and warm over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, salt and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-9 minutes, until the veggies are softened. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for another minute. Stir often to prevent the garlic from burning.


Next, add the chicken broth to the pot, increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Add the orzo, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the orzo from sticking to the bottom of the pot, for about 6 minutes or until the orzo reaches al dente. Meanwhile, make the cornstarch slurry by adding the cornstarch and water to a small bowl and whisking until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.


Once the orzo is cooked, add the shredded chicken, lemon juice and slurry to the pot and mix everything together. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the soup to thicken. Add additional salt and pepper, to taste, and fresh dill, if desired. Serve piping hot.