Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
/A chicken soup that's loaded with tiny bits of tender orzo pasta, lean protein rich chicken breasts, fresh
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
A chicken soup that's loaded with tiny bits of tender orzo pasta, lean protein rich chicken breasts, fresh vegetables and it's seasoned with plenty of bright fresh lemon. It's a delicious Greek flavored soup that will leave you craving more!

#Basil #Carrots #Celery #Chicken #ChickenBroth #Garlic #Lemon #LemonJuice #OliveOil #Onions #Oregano #Orzo #Parmesan #Rosemary #Spinach #Thyme

Servings: 6
Ready in: 50 minutes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (about 3 large)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
5 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups chicken broth
1 parmesan rind, plus shredded parmesan for serving
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp each dried basil, thyme and rosemary
1 cup (6 oz) dried orzo pasta
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
5 oz (5 packed cups) fresh spinach, roughly chopped

1. Place chicken on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and pound evenly to about 1/2-inch thickness. Dab chicken dry with paper towels and season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.  
2. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil a large enameled cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sear on both sides until browned, about 2 - 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate leaving oil in pan.  
3. Add carrots, celery and onion and saute until nearly softened about 6 to 8 minutes. Move veggies to the side, add garlic and saute 1 minute.  
4. Pour in chicken broth, add parmesan rind, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Return chicken to pot and bring to a simmer.  
5. Add orzo, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer stirring occasionally, about 4 - 8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (it should register 165 degrees in center on an instant read thermometer).  
6. Remove parmesan rind and chicken and transfer chicken to a cutting board. Let chicken rest 3 to 5 minutes then cut into very small cubes, about the length of the orzo. Meanwhile continue to cook soup until orzo is tender a few minutes longer.
7. Return chicken to soup along with lemon juice, lemon zest and spinach and heat through. Serve warm with parmesan cheese. Note that as soup rests the pasta will absorb the broth so you can as a little more broth as desired.

Recipes makes about 12 cups.
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