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Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

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It’s a beautiful, cool day in Johannesburg. The perfect day for soup. This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is just what we need to warm us up.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

I saw another blogger Salt and Lavender post this dish on her Instagram page. It looked so divine so I just had to make it. 

Although I did my own thing, I did get inspiration from her recipe. Trust me it’s so worth it.

It also just takes just over 30 minutes to cook so you can have it any day of the week. My 13-year-old is a soup lover so he will be so happy to see this.

How to make the soup

You can use rotisserie chicken for this recipe. Although I used raw chicken breasts.

For me perfectly cooked chicken breasts takes 20 minutes so it’s exactly how I cooked these. I sautéed my onion, celery and carrots in some olive oil.

I then added the garlic, flour, chicken stock. This is where I added my chicken breasts, slit down the middle in halves.

The chicken breasts were cooked in the stock. I then removed it and shredded it.

It was only added back to the pot once the orzo was cooked. That took about 15 minutes.

After adding the orzo, once the chicken is removed, you have to keep the pot open and stir at regular intervals.

Orzo sticks to the pot quite easily so keep a careful eye on it. If you want a creamy soup you can also add some fresh cream.

I also did not add a lot of flour, mainly because I didn’t want a thickish soup. We prefer it a little more runny.

You can always add more flour if you wish. This is one of those soul warming soups so I prefer it not so creamy and thick.

There are times when I want thick and creamy, just not this time.

Ingredients Required

Most of the ingredients are simple pantry ingredients. Maybe the Orzo (pasta rice) is not something everyone keeps in their pantry.

However, that can be easily found in most major supermarkets. I bought some from Woolworths.

For the chicken stock I used 3 of the Knorr Chicken Stock Pots mixed with 3 cups of water and it was perfect. You can use any chicken stock or stock powder that you prefer.

I love thyme so I did use fresh thyme, although you can add dried thyme too. I also added some dried Italian herbs. 

If you’re a cheese lover then yes some parmesan will do. However, it’s not necessary.

My portion didn’t have any and it was still so delicious. And of course, lemon for that clean, fresh taste and a flavour boost.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

A hearty, soul warming soup that's bursting with flavour
Course Main Course
Keyword chicken soup, easy soup recipe, lemon chicken orzo soup, quick and easy recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 cup orzo (pasta rice)
  • 2 chicken breasts cut in halves
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoon cake wheat or all purpose flour
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups water
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan (optional)
  • fresh parsley to garnish


  • Add the olive oil, onion, celery and carrots to a pot and sauté on a low heat until the onion is translucent. About 10 minutes
  • Add the butter and garlic and fry for a minute. Mix in the flour
  • Slowly add in the chicken stock and water. Add the chicken breasts and bring to a boil
  • Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover the pot and allow the chicken breasts to simmer for 20 minutes
  • Remove the chicken breasts. Shred with two forks and set aside
  • Add the orzo to the pot. Keep the pot uncovered and allow the orzo to simmer on low heat. Stir at regular intervals to prevent it from sticking
  • Turn off the heat. Add the chicken and spinach to the pot. Season with more salt if required and add pepper. Squeeze in the lemon juice and mix well. If using parmesan you can sprinkle it on the soup when serving.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve warm


  1. You can use store bought rotisserie chicken for this soup. You will only add that once the orzo is almost cooked and just bring to the boil
  2. If you are one of those that don't mind carbs on carbs go ahead and serve some crusty bread on the side
  3. If you don't have fresh thyme you can add about a 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme 
  4. If you want a thicker soup you can add more flour. Most recipes call for about 2 tablespoon but you can adjust according to your taste


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