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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup in Bowl with Artisan Bread next to it and on top of black and tan napkin with matching placemat @allourway.com
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5 from 14 votes

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

A light flavorful soup that is easy to make and perfect year round. The lemon gives it a fresh taste.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 31 mins
Resting Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 46 mins
Course: First course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 327kcal
Author: Marisa Franca @ All Our Way


  • o1 4-pound whole chicken
  • 2 carrots peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion peeled and sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves crushed
  • 4 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ⅓ chopped carrot
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 Box 32 oz. Chicken Broth or Stock
  • 8 ounces uncooked orzo rice-shaped pasta
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 ½ teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges optional
  • Coarsely cracked black pepper optional


  • Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Place chicken in a large Dutch oven. Add the 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery stalks, sliced onion, 6 garlic cloves, 4 sprigs parsley, whole black peppercorns, and bay leaves to pan. Add 6 cups water; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour.
  • Remove chicken from pan; place chicken in a colander over large bowl. Let it cool and drain for 20 minutes. Discard skin; remove chicken from bones, discard bones. Chop chicken into bite-size pieces; cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight. Strain broth mixture through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Cool broth mixture to room temperature then cover and refrigerate overnight. Next day skim fat from surface and discard the fat.
  • In the Dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the chopped carrots, onions and celery. Saute the vegetables in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Measure the broth and add enough of the boxed chicken broth to measure 9 cups and add the salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add reserved chopped chicken and simmer 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Keep warm.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Add pasta to pan with chicken and broth mixture; stir in parsley, rind, and juice.* Garnish and each serving with lemon wedges and cracked black pepper if desired.


If you don't have time for making the homemade broth, use the chicken from a store bought rotisserie chicken and make up the 9 cups of broth with an excellent quality packaged broth. 
  • *We sometimes add 1 ½ cups baby spinach along with the parsley, rind, and juice.
  • Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe - December 2008


Serving: 8g | Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3760IU | Vitamin C: 11.6mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1.5mg