Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Lemon Chicken Orzo soup #recipe

When you’re a stay-at-home-mom, life is busier than you ever thought possible. This is why I prefer to do cook ahead meals. I can throw them together during the day, and they’ll be ready and waiting at dinner time. One of my favorites is soup, specifically Lemon Chicken Orzo soup. Last summer, I had a bowl of this awesome soup at Panera Bread. I immediately went home and looked for a knock off. Here’s my favorite recipe, which I have tweaked a bit from the original I found online.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

8 ounces orzo pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 carrots, chopped, or more to taste
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 chicken boulion cubes
3 (32 ounce) cartons fat-free, low-sodium chicken stock
1 lemon, zested
3 drops Doterra Lemon Oil
8 ounces cooked chicken breast, chopped (Optional—I found I like this recipe better without the chicken)
1 (8 ounce) package baby spinach leaves—Chopped lightly
1 lemon, sliced for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir carrots, celery, and onion in hot oil until the vegetables begin to soften and the onion becomes translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Season mixture with thyme, oregano, salt, & black pepper; continue cooking another 30 seconds before pouring chicken broth into the pot. Bring the broth to a boil. Partially cover the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir orzo, lemon juice, lemon oil, and lemon zest into the broth; add chicken. Cook until the chicken is heated and orzo is soft. Add baby spinach; cook until the spinach wilts into the broth, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with lemon slices and Parmesan cheese.

Yum, yum. This also makes a great summer soup.

There’s not much to do growing up in a small town in Western, NY, so J. Andersen wrote stories and won high school writing contests. But in college her writing was limited to term papers. While teaching middle school she began to read young adult books and got serious about writing. J now writes full time, volunteers at the town library, helps to run a School of the Arts at her church, and sings in the church band. She enjoys good coffee—read: home roasted by her husband—crafts, baking, running a small essential oil business, and chasing after her children. You’ll rarely see J without a book in her hands, and that’s the way she’d like to keep it.


  1. Typo alert, chicken bouillon. Sounds like a good recipe. I will have to try it.

    1. Yes, just be sure to add 1/2 c lemon juice, which I apparently left out of the recipe.

  2. Yummy! How much real lemon juice would it take to replace the lemon oil? I'll have to try it out and see.

    1. You can do it without the oil. Just use the juice suggested... OH NO!! I see the lemon juice is left out. 1/2 c lemon juice.

  3. I've seen your posted foods before and this looks amazing!!!

    1. Yes, yummy! But I see I left out the 1/2 cup Lemon juice!!! Oh NO!


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