Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Sub a can or two of white beans for the chicken if you want a vegetarian soup.

Recipe adapted from Salt and Lavender.

Amounts in parentheses are for hearty 4-6 portions. Leftovers are delicious despite the orzo absorbing the broth and becoming like a stew.


  • 2 sticks celery, chopped finely
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped finely
  • 1/2 (1) medium onion, chopped
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 TBSP (2 1/2 TBSP) flour
  • 6 c. (8 c.) chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. (3/4 tsp.) Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 lbs. uncooked chicken breasts, or cooked chicken, or 1-2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c. (1 1/4-1 1/2 c.) uncooked orzo
  • 1 TBSP (1/2 – 1 lemon) lemon juice and zest, or to taste
  • 1 TBSP chopped parsley 
  • Salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Sauté the celery, carrots, and onions in a large soup pot with the butter and oil over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the flour and cook for another minute or so.
  3. Pour in chicken broth and stir until the flour has dissolved, then add the Italian seasoning and chicken (if using). Bring the soup to a boil.
  4. Cover the soup (lid slightly ajar), and reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in the orzo and cook for another 10 minutes or until the orzo is cooked through. I keep the lid off and stir it fairly often because it tends to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Take the chicken out of the pot and cut it up (if using pre cooked chicken or beans, add now), then add it back in.
  7. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, and season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. 

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup:

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