Golden Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This Golden Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is just what the doctor ordered. With fresh lemon, dried turmeric and an array of veggies in light chicken broth it’s a simple one-pot soup for your soul. Serves 4 to 6 in about 45 minutes.

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I’m one of those people that believes chicken soup cures all, so don’t try to tell me any different. I simply won’t listen. I personally witnessed it’s magic when I was in my twenties and had the worst cold of my life. Worse than any “man cold”. Back when I was working 12-hour shifts in the ER, my kids were little and I was hanging onto a little sleep and a prayer, my mom made me lemon chicken and rice soup. It was an insta-cure and I’ve been a believer ever since. Since we’re still in the thick of cold and flu season and I keep hearing this year is the worst yet, I’m staying ahead of the game by infusing my teenagers with a bi-weekly bolus of this golden lemon chicken orzo soup.

Golden because turmeric. LOVE me some turmeric! Sliced carrots, celery and diced onions are sautéed and mixed with the turmeric along with fresh lemon juice, zest, orzo pasta, poached chicken, peas and green onions. All in a light chicken broth.  I’m not 100% sure, but I’m thinking (hoping) this is why we’ve all stayed relatively healthy this winter/cold season.

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Bonus! This soup is incredibly easy too!

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To make this golden soup, you’ll need the soup usuals; carrot, celery and onion. You’ll also need turmeric, low-sodium chicken broth, a lemon, frozen peas, green onions and cooked chicken. I poached my chicken earlier in the day, but in a pinch a rotisserie chicken can be used.

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To start, sauté 1 sliced carrot (or 2 medium) and 1 to 2 (sliced) stalks of celery along with 1/2 cup diced yellow onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Seaspm with a pinch of kosher salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Next add in 1 teaspoon turmeric and stir to combine. You may not want to use a white or light spatula here. Turmeric likes to stain, just ask my kitchen rug. 🙈

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Next add in 1/2 cup of dried orzo pasta, 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth plus 4 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce and cook until the pasta is al dente. About 10 to 15 minutes.

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Next add in the 2 cups of diced cook chicken (which is about 2 to 3 medium chicken breasts), 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest and 2 tablespoons (more or less to your preference) of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

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Then add in 1/2 cup frozen peas and the light and dark green parts of 3 (sliced) green onions.

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Stir this sunny lemon chicken orzo soup and heat throughly. Lastly, taste and season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

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Lastly, ladle soup into bowls, or my favorite, mugs! This way I can sit and hold my mug-o-soup, it’s less messy this way. 😉 37-years-old and I can’t eat soup nor a salad without looking like a starving neanderthal.

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Oh and perhapsa add a few oyster crackers for good measure. Crackers are a soups BFF.

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Enjoy! And if you give this Golden Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

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My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings depending

Golden Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

This Golden Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is just what the doctor ordered. With fresh lemon, dried turmeric and an array of veggies in light chicken broth it's a simple one-pot soup for your soul. Serves 4 to 6 in about 45 minutes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) carrots, sliced
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) stalks of celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground (dried) turmeric
  • 1/2 cup dried orzo pasta
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups diced poached chicken (or rotisserie)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 3 green onions, sliced - light and dark green parts only
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • crackers, for serving

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add in the sliced carrots, celery and diced onions with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the turmeric before adding in the orzo, broth and water. Bring to a simmer and cook the pasta until al dente or about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Next add in the diced chicken, lemon zest and juice. Stir and then add in the peas, green onions and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat thoroughly before ladling into bowls or mugs. Serve with crackers.

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4 Responses to “Golden Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup”

  1. #
    1
    E — February 22, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Somewhat off topic: Hopefully your girl doesn’t have clear ligatures on her braces 😉

    Speaking from experience… Turmeric is to be avoided if one is wearing those, as it tends to turn clear ligatures to fluorescent green.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — February 24th, 2018 @ 9:57 am

      HA! no she doesn’t, but I’m so glad you said something. I’ll have to keep that in mind in the future when she changes to a new color, I put turmeric in my all purpose seasoning (recipe is in my book) and I use that all the time on fried eggs etc. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. #
    2
    Julie J — February 27, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Laurie this is my new favorite soup!! I made it this past Saturday and it’s so darn tasty. I even poached the boneless thighs using your method. This recipe is a keeper for sure, thank you!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 10th, 2018 @ 9:12 am

      I’m so glad, Julie! Thank you for taking the time to make the recipe!

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