Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday greetings everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and were able to catch some of the Academy Awards show last night. I just loved Ellen's hosting job, and thought it was great how she randomly decided to order a few pizzas to pass out to the stars mid-show. Too funny! While there were no real surprises, I did enjoy watching the stars arrive on the red carpet, and hearing all about the amazing fashion and jewels. Can we just have a moment of silence for Angelina Jolie's drop dead gorgeous Oscar's dress, Cate Blanchett in Giorgio Armani, Sandra Bullock in Steve McQueen or Jennifer Garner looking ethereal in Oscar de la Renta? Now if only I had Elie Saab, Jenny Packham or Cartier in my speed dial for special occasions...here's to dreaming...

Ok, enough of my rambling about THE awards show...On to the recipe... With the super cold temps we've had over the last several days (seriously, it's officially May now, can we stop with the negative degree temps and snow already?), I was looking for a quick and easy meal that would also be heart-warming and delicious. I kid you not, I may have found the perfect recipe. This soup was light and fulfilling, and took only about 40 minutes to prepare from start to finish making it a perfect dinner option. Another great thing about this soup? The ingredients of this soup are very SpRiNgY, and even though we are still suffering through blizzards here in NW Iowa, if you close your eyes and take a bite, you may just be transported into a sunny spring afternoon.

Step One: Gather the ingredients.

Step Two: Saute the leeks and celery with some olive oil. Add the broth, chicken, and salt and pepper. Cover, boil for 15-20 min, or until the chicken is done, then remove chicken to a plate.

Step Three: Bring soup back to a boil, add orzo, and cook until al dente, about 8-10 min. Meanwhile, shred the chicken.

Step Four: Remove from heat, and add the chicken back to the pot with juice from half a lemon, and the chopped dill. Serve up with an extra wedge of lemon, a sprinkle of fresh dill, and some crusty bread on the side.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

LEMONY CHICKEN AND ORZO SOUP | Yield: 8 servings | Total Time: 40 min.


1.5 Tbsp olive oil
3 medium sized leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
4 stalks celery, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1/2 lb. diced carrots, optional
1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves (I used pre-packaged chicken with 3 breasts halves)
12 C low-sodium chicken broth
kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper (approx. 1 tsp each, adjust to your taste)
1 C orzo
1/2 C fresh dill, chopped (one .75 oz package) - (use 1 Tbsp dried)
1/4 C lemon juice, (approx 1/2 large lemon, juiced if using fresh)
Lemon wedges, soup crackers, or crusty bread for serving


In a large stock pot, heat olive oil. Saute leek and celery for about 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add broth and chicken, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate and allow to cool before shredding into bite-sized pieces.

Meanwhile, return broth to a boil, add orzo, and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.

Remove pot from heat. Stir in chicken, dill, and lemon. Serve with additional lemon wedges and a sprinkle of fresh dill.

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