It isn’t overwhelmingly tart – you won’t pucker up when you eat it. The lemon is on the subtle side with a brightening up of flavors that leaves you with the lingering taste of lemon. Of course you can double the lemon if a strong flavor is what you’re after. I like it lightly kissed.
I cook the orzo separately otherwise it will soak up all the broth and you’ll be left with lemon chicken pasta. Not a bad thing but soup is what we’re after. You can also use a rotisserie chicken or just about any type of leftover, cooked chicken.
|Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup|| |
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- ¾ cup diced green bell pepper
- ½ cup diced carrots
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- coarse salt and fresh black pepper
- 1 + ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 4 cups baby spinach, stems removed
- the zest of 1 lemon
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup orzo
- grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- In a Dutch oven or large soup pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, carrots, garlic and half the Italian seasoning. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring often until vegetables are soft.
- Remove the vegetables to a bowl and add the chicken to the pot, season well with salt and pepper and the remaining ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning. Cook the chicken on all sides.
- Add the vegetables back in along with the chicken broth and parsley. Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- After about 20 minutes stir the spinach, lemon zest and lemon slices into the soup, simmer 5 - 10 minutes until spinach is wilted. Cook the orzo separately according to package directions.
- To serve: spoon some of the orzo into a bowl, ladle the soup over top and garnish with Parmesan cheese.