Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups

Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup

I’m not sure what the deal is, but I’ve become pretty much obsessed with soup over the past two years. Before that, I couldn’t really handle it [except for tomato and potato], but now? Sign me just about anytime, anywhere. That’s why I don’t mind so much when we have spring cold spells, like we’ve had here in Indiana lately. I mean, it’s the end of April and it’s 50 degrees out and rainy. No fun… except that it just gives me one more excuse to make soup.

lemon orzo chicken soupAnd this is my new favorite spring soup! It’s tangy yet creamy, filling yet light.  It’s super simple to make, even with the long list of ingredients. Don’t let the inclusion of eggs in a soup scare you–they add a delightful rich, velvety layer of flavor. I used dried herbs and orzo–but use fresh herbs or another small pasta if you want. I can’t wait to make this in the summertime when my balcony herbs are flourishing! They’re still little baby nubs right now. 🙂

Don’t you just want a bowlful now? I sure do!

Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup [from Good Life Eats]
click to print


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 – 3 large handfuls of fresh babyspinach, chopped [or combination of spinach and kale]


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with black pepper, then add to hot pan. Pour in 2 tablespoons lemon juice; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each dried parsley and thyme. Turn to coat, then cook completely.

Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Pour in white wine, chicken broth, carrots, and celery. Bring to a boil.

Whisk together egg yolks and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. In a slow, trickling stream, carefully pour in 1 cup of hot broth [from pot] to egg mixture, whisking while pouring. Transfer the mixture back to the pot. Add orzo and chicken.

Reduce heat to medium low, partially cover, and cook until pasta and vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Before serving, add 1 teaspoon each of parsley, thyme, and sage, then stir in spinach/kale.
Time: 45 minutes.
Yield: 6-8 servings.

16 thoughts on “Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup”

  1. Sarah – this soup looks fantastic! It’s cold and cloudy here today, so I’m craving some comforting soup. I love the lemon added in there too.


  2. I totally feel the same way about soup! I used to think it was a waste of stomach space but now I’ve seen the light to its awesomeness. This sounds so delicious! I’m really intrigued by the inclusion of eggs!


    1. definitely try eggs in soup sometime. delightful! you could probably vegify this soup by leaving out the chicken & using tofu/chickpeas/etc.


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