Lemon Chicken + Orzo Soup

Chicken Orzo Soup

I had a much needed day off yesterday and I couldn’t wait to start decorating the house for fall. I went and got the mums for our front porch + hung the corn husk wreath (I’ll share some pics on instagram because I updated it a little!). I also wanted to take advantage of the fact that I had plenty of time to cook dinner and nothing says fall to me like a huge pot of soup! I made this and it made the whole house smell amazing while I started putting out some other decorations like the give thanks banner + my fabric scrap wreath. We had a version of this soup at lunch at the Bills a couple weeks ago and I couldn’t wait to make my own recipe for it. I used the same technique to poach and shred chicken breasts as I used for my squash, quinoa + kale stew and I just love the way it turns out. The soup is full of veggies + whole wheat orzo (think a fancy chicken noodle soup) and the broth is brightened up with lots of fresh lemon juice + zest. The result is a bright and comforting soup that makes a ton so you can use it for lunches all week long.

Each serving is about 1 cup: 180 calories, 19g carbs, 5g fat + 14g protein

As I mentioned before, I poached the chicken breasts in chicken stock then let them cool and shred them later. Put 5 cups chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add two chicken breasts (1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast) total in the chicken broth and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the broth (reserve the broth) and once cool, shred with a fork and set aside.

poaching chicken

Heat up 2 tbsp safflower oil over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed pot or a dutch oven. Add in 1 diced white onion, 5 sliced carrots (mine were tiny because they were organic, if you use regular ones that they are large 3 should be fine) + 2 diced stalks celery. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes and then add in 1 thinly sliced leek + 3 cloves of minced garlic. Stir everything together + cook the leeks down a little, for about 5 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth (I also added in 1 cup water to thin things out a little) and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes to soften the veggies. Pour in 1 cup whole wheat orzo and simmer for about 10 minutes until the pasta is cooked.

chicken and orzo soup

Stir in the shredded chicken, 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest + the juice from 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup). Heat for a few minutes so that the chicken gets warmed up and serve with some chunks of crusty whole wheat bread!

Adding Shredded Chicken

Lemon Chicken + Orzo Soup

serves 10

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

5 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

2 tbsp safflower oil

1 large white onion, diced

5 carrots, sliced

2 ribs celery, diced

1 leek, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup whole wheat orzo

1 tbsp lemon zest

Juice from 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)

Put chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add chicken breasts to the chicken broth and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the broth (reserve the broth) and once cool, shred with a fork and set aside. Heat up safflower oil over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed pot or a dutch oven. Add in onion, carrots + celery. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes and then add in leek + garlic. Stir everything together + cook the leeks down a little, for about 5 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth + water and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes to soften the veggies. Pour in orzo and simmer for about 10 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Stir in the shredded chicken, lemon zest + lemon juice. Heat for a few minutes so that the chicken gets warmed up and serve with some chunks of crusty whole wheat bread!

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