I can’t say enough wonderful things about this soup. Definitely didn’t see this one coming! Dad brought us another stockpile of whole fryer chickens – which is the perfect size to roast, then break down and turn into soup. But, we wanted something a little different. While I love my classics (chicken and noodle, chicken and rice) I wanted something a little different. I had a half a box of orzo, and some pretty lemons – so I went to Google to see what it could direct me too.
It led me to this recipe from Cooking Light, and it turned out exceptional. We enjoyed it for dinner last Sunday night, I ate the leftovers for lunch all week long, and was disappointed when it was all gone! Which, isn’t like me at all – I’m usually over leftovers on day 2. The lemon in it is just perfect – not enough to make you pucker or be overpowering – but just enough to brighten up the flavor of the broth.
I also think it’s a great dish to segue into spring. Still a warm and comforting soup on a chilly evening, but brings the fresh flavors of lemon and fresh parsley to the table. I’m already thinking about the next time we’ll make it! All of us in the house are still thinking and talking about this one. Definitely a new family favorite.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
8 cups of chicken stock or broth
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 lemons
1 bay leaf
8 oz (1.5 cups) orzo pasta
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice,and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the shredded chicken and orzo to the pot and cook for about 10 minutes, until the orzo is tender.
Discard the bay leaf and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Source: adapted from Cooking Light