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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup: A Refreshing Twist on a Classic Comfort Dish

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There’s nothing quite as comforting as a bowl of hearty chicken soup on a chilly day. But when you add the bright, citrusy flavor of lemon to the mix, you take this classic dish to a whole new level. Lemon chicken orzo soup is the perfect combination of comforting and refreshing, making it an ideal choice for any time of year. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through how to make this delicious soup from scratch, along with tips, variations, and even keto and low-carb versions to suit your dietary preferences.

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Introduction

Lemon chicken orzo soup is a delightful twist on traditional chicken soup, infusing it with the tangy zest of fresh lemon juice and the subtle herbaceous notes of thyme and oregano. This soup is not only delicious but also incredibly nourishing, packed with tender chicken, hearty vegetables, and satisfying orzo pasta. Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal to warm you up on a cold winter’s day or a light and refreshing dish to enjoy during the warmer months, this recipe has you covered.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make lemon chicken orzo soup:

  • Meat:
    • 8 oz Cooked chicken breast, shredded or diced
  • Produce:
    • 1 (8 oz) package Baby spinach leaves
    • 1 Bay leaf
    • 3 Medium carrots, diced
    • 3 Celery ribs, diced
    • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 Lemons (juice and zest)
    • 1 Medium onion, diced
    • 1/2 tsp Dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp Dried thyme
  • Canned Goods:
    • 3 (32 oz) cartons Fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • Condiments:
    • 1/2 cup Fresh lemon juice
  • Pasta & Grains:
    • 8 oz Orzo pasta
  • Baking & Spices:
    • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Oils & Vinegars:
    • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • Dairy:
    • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Follow these simple steps to prepare your lemon chicken orzo soup:

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  1. Sauté Aromatics: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in minced garlic, dried oregano, and dried thyme, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add Broth and Bay Leaf: Pour in the chicken broth and add the bay leaf. Bring the soup to a simmer and let it cook for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  3. Cook Orzo Pasta: While the soup is simmering, cook the orzo pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  4. Add Chicken and Spinach: Once the soup has simmered, add the cooked chicken breast and baby spinach leaves. Let the soup cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the chicken is heated through and the spinach is wilted.
  5. Finish with Lemon: Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the fresh lemon juice and zest. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve: Ladle the lemon chicken orzo soup into bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Make It Creamy: For a creamy version of this soup, stir in a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk just before serving. This adds richness and depth to the broth.
  • Add More Veggies: Feel free to customize this soup with your favorite vegetables. Peas, diced bell peppers, or chopped kale would all be delicious additions.
  • Boost the Protein: If you’re looking to up the protein content of this soup, consider adding cooked white beans or chickpeas along with the chicken.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

For a keto or low-carb version of lemon chicken orzo soup, simply omit the orzo pasta and reduce the amount of carrots to lower the carb count. You can replace the orzo with cauliflower rice or shirataki noodles for a low-carb alternative that’s just as satisfying.

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Lemon chicken orzo soup is a delightful blend of comforting and refreshing flavors that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re seeking warmth on a cold winter’s day or a light and nourishing meal during the summer months, this soup is sure to hit the spot. With its vibrant citrus notes, tender chicken, and hearty vegetables, it’s a dish that’s as delicious as it is satisfying. Give this recipe a try and prepare to be amazed by the deliciousness of homemade lemon chicken orzo soup!

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