lemony chicken and orzo soup
November 25, 2013 § 79 Comments
I am here to tell you this is the best chicken “noodle” soup I have ever had the pleasure of eating. I actually made this soup twice last week. Twice because after we finished the leftovers for lunch I could not stop thinking about it. Three days later I set out to make a second batch. And why not make it with your leftover turkey?
This recipe came from Bon Appétit Magazine. In my usual fashion I slightly modified the recipe. Honestly, I never set out to change what appears to be an already perfected recipe. It just so happens I am usually without a particular ingredient and it is easier to use an alternative rather than run out to the market. In this case, the recipe called for a medium leek. I had plenty of yellow onions on hand and knowing the end flavor would be different it was not enough to convince me to run out for leeks. This soup is Mediterranean in flavor and as you would expect from this blog, very simple to prepare. Remarkably delicious.
For round two of the lemony chicken soup I decided to add carrots to the pot. The carrots were wholesome, however, I preferred the soup to be somewhat sour from the lemon without the sweetness of the carrots. Nevertheless, the flavor and comfort level was heavenly. You cannot go wrong with either version. And perhaps even top it with a little shaved Manchego cheese.
I n g r e d i e n t s
- 3 tablespoons olive oil + a little for drizzling on top
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 celery stalks, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1 pound boneless & skinless chicken thighs
- 8 cups stock
- sea salt & pepper
- 3/4 cup orzo
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- Lemon halves (for serving)
M e t h o d
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 5-8 minutes. Add chicken and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is fully cooked, 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Allow it cool enough to handle. Shred chicken into bite-size pieces.
Meanwhile, return soup to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 15-20 minutes. Ladle into serving bowls. Top with fresh dill, a drizzle of olive oil and a few squeezes of lemon.
gorgeous! that is one beautiful bowl of heaven!
thank you, nice to hear from you this morning…
This looks delicious. I’m a fan of the ingredients – great for these cold days.
We have reached freezing temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest and I have made 3 soups in the past week! I love soup! :)
Seana, This is a great recipe for a cold, Autumn night! I think the onion is a great idea – leeks are such a pain to clean and often not available, even though they are quite delectable. Thank you for sharing! Best, Shanna
I agree! I do love the flavor leeks add to soup, and you are right they are a bit to clean, especially if you buy organic. Thank YOU for stopping in Shanna. Always nice to hear from you.
Seana – Thank you for the inspiration to cook for my family. This is a great soup. Warmly, Shanna
Wow! I’m so glad you loved it like you did. I like the touch of orzo. Perfect dish for this time of year. It reminds me of home.
I felt the orzo was the best part of this soup. Usually I use a much larger size noodle for chicken soup. I’ll never do that again! It has been freezing here this past week so maybe that is part of why this was such a hit with me!
Love this Seana…It’s an interesting combination with the lemon…you have me intrigued! I’ll definitely try it with the carrot, and the manchego cheese? Yes, count me in! <3 as always, your photos are beautiful.
Do add the lemon and dill (if you like dill) also a little drizzle of olive oil…it tasted very Greek, especially with the orzo too. You’ll love it. Only takes twenty minutes to prepare and you’ll be eating in forty five minutes…
I have a pack of Orzo in my cupboard never knowing what to do with it :-) Excellent choice of ingredients, especially the Manchego!!
I know you love Manchego! Make a soup with your Orzo! It’s my new found treasure…
I love lemony chicken soups! Oh, and leeks — aren’t they an underappreciated veg? This looks wonderful for cold weather sniffles.
Yes…I agree. This was a first to add lemon to my chicken soup and now I won’t prepare it without! Thank you for stopping in and for your kind comment too. :)
YUMMY! This soup sounds so delicious and I absolutely LOVE chicken! XOXO – Bacon
Thank you. Isn’t chicken soup wonderful! Thank you for stopping by Bacon…
Wonderful way to use orzo! I love those ‘noodles’ as well. I’ve never had them in any other way than in cold salad. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dollierv/5880083021/
I made you a happy birthday stir-fried noodles =) I hope you like it!
:) I wish I had your skill and expertise with the camera Dolly! Gorgeous!
If you keep on practicing, you’ll be as skillful as you want to be! シ
Not only are your flickr photos beautiful, your blog post has put an ear to ear smile on me! Thank you my friend.
You are most welcome. It is my joy to serve you a birthday dish even if just in cyber-space!
Yummy on a cold day!
hmmm, this orzo chicken soup looks wonderful. I’ve never used orzo in mine but I can see myself really enjoying it. I sometimes use pastina… I guess it reminds me of when i was a kid hahah
yes, this was the first time I bought orzo and now I’m sold. I really love having the smaller noodle in the soup. I’ll have too look up pastina…never heard of it. by the sound of it I picture tiny little bits of pasta, which highly interests me!
yeah, hahaha, its super fun :)
Anything with Orzo in is heaven. Shall be giving this recipe a go.
Oh good! You won’t find an easier soup to make…for sure. I agree about orzo. It is my new love!
This does indeed look like a Best soup :-) And great idea on the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving to all at Cottage Grove House!
And to you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving too!
Looks delicious. I could eat soup all winter long. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I already know you will be enjoying a turkey version of this soup with the leftovers.
Thank you for the Thanksgiving greeting. Yes, leftover turkey this…leftover turkey that…I love it! Nice to hear from you today.
Chicken soup is like tonic to me, this sounds delicious. Have you tried Greek Egg and Lemon Soup? It’s different to what you’ve made here but uses similar ingredients, a traditional Greek Soup. Take a peek at the recipe http://wp.me/p2frs2-pO
Tonic is a good way to put it. Your Greek Egg & Lemon Soup sounds wonderful! I’ll make it for sure. Not only am I a huge Greek food fan but I love soup too! Perfect sounding recipe. Thank you for sending me the link.
Yum, love a good chicken soup :-)
Thank you Leah. :)
This sounds so good, I bet the lemon brightens the flavor! and the shaved cheese adds a nice touch!
Yes…lemon really changed it up from a typical chicken soup. Thank you for stopping in today. :)
This is a fabulous soup, I can imagine having a bowl of this on a very cold day and being very happy. I love orzo and the lemon and chicken combination. I love leeks but think that in this soup the onions are perfect.
We hit freezing temperatures for three straight days last week, now the fog has rolled in and the temps went up…still cold enough to keep making soups. If you can believe it I ate three bowls of this last weekend…rather large bowls I might add. Ok…on to Thanksgiving. This will be the first year I am not making turkey! I’m not sure how I feel about it. Well, I am a traditionalist, however the guys in the house are requesting a prime rib roast. :)
Wow, no turkey, I am a traditionalist also and although prime rib is wonderful I don’t think I could help myself I would still put a small turkey on to roast. That said, your prime rib dinner will be wonderful I’m sure and everyone will be very happy. Happy Thanksgiving, have a wonderful day.
It sounds so comforting, and looks beautiful with the manchego cheese!
I love manchego! It was very good in this soup. I really like having a bowl of this soup with a little less broth and a little more orzo and lots of shaved manchego. That was for lunch the next day…
What a lovely soup!
Thank you so much. I’m still thinking about your post I read yesterday, eggs fried in duck fat! And with french bread cubes. Beautiful food.
I think you did well to opt for the onions. As leeks can be quite assertive in their taste at this time of year (does that make sense?). As for orzo I haven’t seen it in the shops as yet. I’m sure it’s there. Hiding from me :)
Agree about the leeks. This was the first time I have cooked with orzo and it will not be the last! Wondering why your comment didn’t show up on the post. Showed up in the archive though. ?? I wonder how many other comments I’ve missed, this is the first time I have checked the archive…because the comment prompt kept appearing orange when I wasn’t seeing any new comments. Hmmm.
The orange tab, or whatever it’s called, has been playing up for me. So I have to check with comments on the left of page. Otherwise I just don’t get them all.
Really..I will make sure to start checking too. Nice to hear from you Johnny.
This does look like the best chicken “noodle” soup ever! I love orzo, yum!
Hey! Nice to hear from you Lilly Sue. :) I haven’t seen any of your post in my reader…I’ll have to check to see if I mysteriously “unfollowed” your blog. I have noticed this happening to some of my other favorite blogs. Glad you stopped in, thank you!
Oh no, that is not good. I was definitely missing your visits! But I have a hard time keeping up with everyone’s delicious recipes so I assume others do as well. I really want some of this soup though!
This looks so beautiful and delicious! I can’t wait to try this myself soon..perhaps with leftover turkey as you suggested!
This is on my chalkboard menu now! And the ingredients are on my shopping list. Looks impossible to resist – thank you for posting it!
Oh good Lindy! You won’t believe how easy and over the top delicious/comforting….it’s the kind of soup you want to hold the bowl close to your chin while savoring…just to get the full experience. Let me know if you get a chance to make it and your feedback too! Don’t forget to drizzle some olive oil on the top when you serve it! :)
I love simple recipes like this. Which of the ingredients doesn’t sound great in chicken stock. Good sub for the leeks and I’d omit the carrots too (if I were going for the lemon). Sounds like just the thing to throw together for a picnic in front of the tv on Sunday night while watching HOMELAND. Ken
Sounds like you have the same palate…and the same idea of a fine Sunday evening! :) I love picnics in front of the tv…
Oh yum, this looks wonderful! I adore any kind of noodle or rice soup, there’s just something so beautifully comforting about it. Great photos too Seana, if it wasn’t so hot here at the moment I’d be running to make this right away! xx
Isn’t it interesting reading recipes and posts from the other side of the world preparing food for the opposite season?! I imagine you are enjoying all the wonderful warm weather vegetables I love dearly. Glad you are having hot temperatures…it has been freezing here! Even a little frozen fog this morning. Love hearing from you Laura! Thank you…
Very,very good soup. I’ve never been tempted by chicken noodle soup until this point.
Yes! I have actually “tempted” you! :) For some reason that brings a little satisfaction…
I absolutely adore freshly squeezed lemon in my chicken soup! We’re about to head into Summer and i’m now craving a bowl of hot chicken soup. Crazy…
This was the first time we squeezed lemon in chicken soup and I will never have it any other way. I’m crazy enough to make this even in the summer, so that makes two of us!
MMMMM,….A very tasty delectable soup that nourishes you at the same time: Yummy Yum. 😊
Yes, nourishes…good word. Too often I cook without thinking about nourishing, I just think of great taste. Well, I guess if you stick to healthy ingredients it will always be nourishing! :)
Looks like the perfect soup for when you’re feeling a bit under the weather! Love it :)
You are right! You’ll feel much better in no time after eating a bowl of this.. :) Thank you for stopping by!
I too am a serious chicken soup fan and maker and it’s always nice to come across one that is just a little different then my go to style. Maybe I’ll try it with some turkey next weekend:)
Good! I’m glad to hear it may be “tried”! :) Actually I am going to make it this evening with leftover turkey…. we’ll see.
I really do enjoy lemon flavoring in soup and I much prefer orzo in soup rather than rice. I’m sure I wold really enjoy your soup. I do agree, too, with the earlier comments about leeks. I rarely have them because they can be such a pain to clean. :)
Pain to clean? Do they sell leeks in the U.S. with soil still attached to the tube you mean? They sell it clean here but I would imagine washing them in running water will wash the dirt off?
I buy mine from the farmers markets usually. They aren’t pre-washed like those at a grocery and have quite a bit more dirt and grit within them.
Indeed, here in our neck of the woods too. I have noticed the organic leeks are “dirtier”,
Hi Seana– I’ve never had lemon chicken soup– but with your trustworthy recommendation, I’ll give it a try! It’s not freezing here in Socal– but cold enough to be soup weather. … and reading your comments– hope your roast Thanksgiving dinner is marvelous (we’re sticking to turkey, but I’m a little jealous).
Thank you for your kind comment Rhonda. Happy Thanksgiving! I am sure you have already started preparations. Enjoy and I’m wondering where Socal is located?
I am so happy and proud to see how many people are liking and commenting on your blog. Well done!
Thank you… :)
I can have bowls and bowls of this soup. Dill or cilantro add so much to the aroma and taste of the soup.