Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup

Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space” by Spiritualized

A few weekends ago, I participated in a weekend retreat called Cornerstone.  Now, although I am not super religious myself, my mom has been actively involved in planning the weekend/retreat for a few years now.  She has asked me to attend the weekend before and this year I finally agreed.  It was a wonderful weekend for so many reasons.  But of course, I took away recipes and inspiration for recipes, which is why I decided to make this soup.


At the best possible moment, at an untimely hour, a group of welcoming and excited women handed me a bowl of Chicken Orzo Soup.  I immediately found my mom, who like I said helps to run the weekend, and said, “you can get me the recipe, right?”  She of course was able to, after a few days, but I am slighly impatient, and made this wonderful version out of an Ellie Krieger Cookbook the next day.

4 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into small chunks
Pinch of salt, plus more to taste
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup orzo, preferably whole wheat
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with the salt, add it to the pot, and cook, stirring, a few times, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a dish and set aside.


Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and let simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Turn the heat down to low to keep the soup hot but not boiling.


Warm the remaining 1 cup broth in a small saucepan until it is hot but not boiling. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs. Then gradually add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture, whisking all the while. Add the mixture to the soup, stirring well until the soup is thickened. Do not let the soup come to a boil. Add the cooked chicken to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

note:  If you have leftovers, you will have to add broth when you reheat the soup, because the orzo absorbs the broth.

Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 1 1/2 cups


Per serving:
Calories 280; Total fat 10g (Sat fat 2g, Mono fat 6g, Poly fat 1g); Protein 26g; Carb 22g; Fiber 2g; Cholesterol 139mg; Sodium 291mg

Excellent source of:
niacin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C

Good source of:
copper, folate, iodine, iron, magnesium, molybdenum, pantothenic acid, thiamin, vitamin B12, vitamin K, zinc

The soup has the wonderful lemony flair, which works really well with the traditional chicken soup flavor.  I love how Ellie Krieger’s cookbooks give you the nutritional information, which is why I included it here.

4 responses to “Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup

  1. This soup looks delicious! Don’t you just love Ellie! I have yet to make a recipe of hers that I don’t like.

  2. This looks awesome! It turned cold here again, and all I want is some cozy soup!

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