Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Updated: Mar 13
This soup is seriously BURSTING with flavor & is one you are going to fall in love with after the first bite. This is my dad's favorite recipe he said on HGHF to date :) Now with an orzo soup, a lot of times cream is added to it & feel free-- however, I wanted to make it nice & creamy with a trick I have seen over the years with eggs & lemon juice. BOY did it work out perfect!! With orzo soup too, the broth gets soaked up MAJOR, so I recommend having a 32 oz on hand for the week to thin it when you reheat it. Also if you like it thicker I will recommend a different amount of chicken broth as appose to those who like it thinner as well. Check it out below & make for this week & weekend ahead!
9 chicken thighs -- boneless & skinless
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 lemons juiced
A couple grinds of fresh pepper
In large plastic zip lock bag or large stashed bag-- add in chicken thighs, pour the lemon juice from both lemons over the chicken thighs in the bag. Then garlic cloves minced & thrown on top. Sprinkle in the basil salt, dill, cayenne pepper & fresh pepper. Shake until all the ingredients are incorporated over the chicken, then refrigerate for 2 hours.
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
5 celery stalks
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
( 2 ) 32oz Pacific Foods chicken broth + 8oz ( also 32oz container for later in week to thin)
2 cup uncooked orzo
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
2 lemons juiced
2 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup white Cannelleni beans drained & rinsed
1. In an 8qt Dutch oven pot (linked one here that is my favorite) add 3 tbsp olive oil, then turn on medium heat. Add in 1/2 yellow onion diced & 2 cloves garlic minced. Heat for 3 minutes. Then add in all the marinaded chicken thighs at the bottom of the pot. They shouldn't over lap but be a very snug layer at the bottom of the pan.
2. Next you will cook each side of the chicken thighs for 4 minutes. The idea is to braise each side, not cooking it all the way through yet, but this will allow the flavors from the marinade to be left in the bottom of the pan with onions & garlic-- it creates such amazing flavor & seals in the flavor with the chicken.
3. Once you have cooked the chicken for 4 minutes on each side, transfer the chicken to a plate with a towel. Keep the pot on the stove top at medium head & add in the 5 celery stalks chopped into 1/4 inch slices. Stir the celery into the leftover mixture at the bottom of the pot, of yummy onion & garlic. You should not need to add more liquid. Continue to stir & mix adding in 1/2 tsp salt & pepper. Continue stiring until the mixture starts to brown & almost all the liquid is absorbed. Then pour in the (2) 32 oz Pacific Foods chicken broths + the 8oz.
4. Then stir & bring the mixture to a boil. Add in the 2 cups of the dry orzo, thyme, 1 tsp salt & few grinds of pepper again. Stir & cook at a boil for 8 minutes. Then bring back down to medium low-- no longer boiling. Use kitchen shears to cut the chicken into bite sized pieces into the soup pot. Stir in the chicken & then let simmer.
5. While the soup is simmering, take 1/4 cup soup out & place in a small bowl to cool. Then in a medium bowl add in the juice of 2 lemons, should be about 1/2 cup. Then 2 eggs & whisk throughly. Then set aside.
6. Add into your soup pot 2 1/2 cup fresh spinach chopped & the 1 cup white beans drained/rinsed. Stir in & then take the soup off the heat.
7. Wait about 2-3 minutes after taking it off heat & keep stirring the 1/4 cup soup you took out to cool it. Now you will ADD this 1/4 cup soup SLOWLY. KEY WORD. SLOWLY to the egg/lemon mixture. The idea is to warm the lemon & egg mixture WITHOUT scrambling it. Like tbsp amounts each time, while continuing to stir it. Then you will SLOWLY add in the lemon mixture that is now warmed up with the soup you had reserved to your BIG pot of soup. Again SLOW & STEADY. Continue to stir the whole time! There maybe some pieces of egg white that appears, but you can just spoon it out or keep in-- does not matter, you choice. All I can stress here is that you go slow. Do not be afraid to try it!! It is not hard, just take your time & continue to stir-- you will do great. It is amazing to then see it transform to being so creamy!
Then spoon into large soup bowls, toast a baguette & ENJOY!!
See reheating recommendations & additional notes below.
Thank you for looking at this scrumptious recipe!! Remember to follow me @honestfoodie_blog and #honestgrubhonestfoodie to let me know what you are making!
You will notice that the orzo soaks majority of the broth up by the next day, where it resembles more of an orzo. DO NOT be alarmed :) The soup is so flavorful that all you have to do is add the soup you are wanting to serve for that night or day to a soup pot. Then start adding 1 cup of chicken broth & stir at medium low heat, until you are satisfied with the thickness.