Lemony Chicken & Orzo Soup

We woke up yesterday morning without power. It was a bright sunny morning here in California and it seemed a little silly to not have power. In my life, power outages are usually associated with massive storms or some planned street work. It's always a reminder how frequent I take power for granted. My brain expects the light to go on when I turn on the switch, and yesterday I got a rude awakening when I went to do dishes and the garbage disposal didn't work... I had a bunch of mushrooms & strawberries in there from the night before. Oof.

Since I was banned from oven usage, I decided to turn the stove on and make soup. This Lemony Chicken & Orzo Soup from the latest Bon Appetit magazine is perfect for the weather we're having here in the Bay Area. We're having the kind of weather that requires a light sweater and if the sun is just right, a little skin will make an appearance. It's the type of weather that makes you want a light soup to take the chill off the cool breeze. This soup will do just that. It's simple ingredients come together for a light/vibrant flavor combination. Lemon + Dill are flavor powerhouses!  It's what I'm taking to work this week for lunch.

And we're off!

Ingredient gathering.

Olive oil, celery & leeks go into a pot. Cook until they soften.

Now add the chicken stock.

And nestle the chicken thighs into the liquid. Cook!

Pull the chicken out and let it cool before shredding.

Now we pour the orzo in.

Shred the chicken while the orzo cooks.

Return the chicken to the soup.

Add in the dill and stir.

Soup is ready! Now squeeze a little lemon in it. A little goes a long way.

I know what I'm eating for dinner tonight!

It's a great/light soup for when you're looking to get the chill off a breezy spring day.

Lemony Chicken & Orzo Soup

makes 4 servings
recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • lemon halves (for serving)

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add leek and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 5-8 minutes. Add chicken and broth; season with salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool, then shred chicken into bit-size pieces.

Meanwhile, return broth to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Stir in chicken and dill. Serve with lemon halves for squeezing over.

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  • March 25, 2013

    I saw this soup in the magazine! Way to go for making it - and so fast! And hopefully all is well after the outage!

  • Denisa Ratulovská
    March 25, 2013

    I'm gonna make this soup tonight.Can't wait!!!

  • Andrea J
    March 25, 2013

    just started snowing in PA this morning and i was trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight - this is absolutely perfect!

  • March 25, 2013

    Lemon and Dill go fantastically together. What a nice light soup to keep you warm on a cold day, which we're unfortunately still having here. Yum yum!

  • March 25, 2013

    It even LOOKS like a spring soup, with the greens and yellows! :)

  • Susan
    March 25, 2013

    Panera has a lemon orzo soup in the summer that is one of my favorites. I will definitely be making this recipe.

  • March 25, 2013

    I'm nursing a late winter (yes, it's definitely still winter in MN) cold. This looks like just the ticket to a quick recovery!

  • Jane M
    March 25, 2013

    First night of Passover here - only it just started to SNOW! Guess spring is taking its time this year. No skin peeking out yet around here - still in our woolys! HA HA!

  • March 25, 2013

    This looks heavenly!! It's been so rainy here in GA aannnddd my oven just broke this weekend. I was planning on making minestrone tonight, but I might swing by the store and make this instead :)

    xx Ashleigh

  • March 25, 2013

    I can almost taste the lemon and dill by looking at your pictures! Mmmmm

  • March 25, 2013

    This soup looks like it's loaded with flavor and perfect for a chilly day! And I'm obsessed with fresh dill :)

  • March 25, 2013

    I knew the title of this recipe sounded familiar! I had my eye on it in the bon appetit magazine as well. Looks just as delicious!

  • March 25, 2013

    That looks delicious!

    Sorry about your power though :)

  • March 25, 2013

    I love this soup so much! I was so happy to see it in BA this month and even happier to see it here. YUM

  • March 25, 2013

    It's so cold and rainy, I wish I had some of this soup right now! Lemon chicken soup is one of my favorite dishes to order at a Greek restaurant.

  • So many of my favorite things together! I have also had this soup with an added egg and it is also delicious.

  • March 25, 2013

    So simple but I'm sure so tasty! I think soup is OK in the spring as long as it has bright fresh ingredients like leeks, dill & lemon :)

  • March 25, 2013

    Wow, this looks so yummy. I will definitely try this sometime.I have been making a lot of soups lately. I love your blog by the way!

  • March 25, 2013

    Lemony soup tends to scare me, but this recipe and the way you documented it has surely changed my mind!

  • tanja
    March 25, 2013

    thank you for giving me ideas week after week ! you're great !

  • March 25, 2013

    I'm obsessed with soups. Really love the light variety. And I'm so happy you introduced a way to incorporate lemon in. If I can put lemon in everything I eat, I would!

  • March 25, 2013

    This is so perfect, it is freezing and snowing here!

  • March 25, 2013

    Tracy! I just love it when you post recipes that necessitate a stop at the grocery store on my way home from work. My belly is full and happy with this soup, and will continue to be - work lunch twins! I absolutely love the soup, it's one of my favorites to order when I'm out and now I can enjoy it at home. Thank you!

  • March 25, 2013

    Light and brothy soups are our go-to meals these days. It's been chilly in Florida, especially in the evenings!

  • March 26, 2013

    Ooooh, that looks delicious!

    And what a great excuse to step outside the cooking comfort zone!

  • Ann
    March 26, 2013

    Tracey, I wish you had posted this last week when I bought a package of fresh dill. I hate wastage but I'm pretty sure that it would be ready for the bin by now. It's still lurking in the veg crisper somewhere! I'm not a huge lemon fan, except when it's accompanied by lots of sugar, but I'm willing to add a smidgen of it to this soup, if you say so!

  • Ann
    March 26, 2013

    oops sorry for mis-spelling your name Tracy.

  • March 26, 2013

    This is my favorite kind of soup and I totally see how now having power on a nice day is kinda weird...but it absolutely calls for soup!

  • Kelly
    March 26, 2013

    Tracy, this looks great! I'd love to try this, but I'm vegetarian so I'm wondering if you have any additions that would go well to bulk the soup up without the meat. Thanks!

  • March 26, 2013

    Lemon + dill = love

  • The perfect soup for spring. The flavors are fresh and the soup looks absolutely perfect. Just pinned and on the to make list!

  • Melissa
    March 28, 2013

    SO IN LOVE. This tastes like spring in a bowl. I omitted the celery (by accident) and used wild rice instead of orzo. This soup may single handily prepare me for swimsuit season - it's so good!! I've been eating it for lunch all week and am ready to make another batch for next week or to stash away in the freezer.

  • March 28, 2013

    This is recommended for breakfast, but I love this recipe for a light dinner too. So delicious and healthy!

  • Katie
    March 29, 2013

    Mmmm can't wait to try this! I'm making it tonight, and realized the recipe calls for boneless chicken thighs- and I have bone in. How much longer should I cook them for? :)

  • Sarah
    April 4, 2013

    I made this soup last night and it is AMAZING! And so easy!

  • Sarah
    April 9, 2013

    This soup is an absolute winner! Love it. Thanks so much for the recipe!

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