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Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup_MidPage@2x

Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup

A winter staple and all-around classic dinner recipe, this lemony chicken orzo soup is a cure-all for anything that might be ailing you. You're going to love my version of chicken soup with lemon!
4.35 from 26 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 346kcal


  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
  • 1 fennel bulb trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper trimmed, seeded, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons dry rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dry thyme
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley minced
  • 3 scallions white and light green parts, separated
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins or breasts cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 pound skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 ¼ cup dry orzo
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For serving:

  • Fennel fronds
  • Minced parsley


Cook the aromatics:

  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and fennel and cook for 6–8 minutes until just beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute—season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the herbs:

  • Place the white parts of the scallions in a food processor along with the rosemary, thyme, and parsley and pulse until minced. Alternatively, mince the scallions and combine with the rosemary, thyme, and parsley in a mortar and pestle and mixed until completely crushed.

Bloom the herbs:

  • Melt the butter into the pot of aromatics. Once bubbly, add the minced scallion whites, rosemary, thyme, and parsley—cook for 1 minute.

Cook the chicken:

  • Add the diced chicken tenderloins and cook for 3 minutes. Place the chicken thighs on top and season everything with salt and pepper.

Simmer the soup:

  • Add the water to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Skim the surface of the soup occasionally to remove any foam or scum that floats to the top—taste and season to your preferences.

Shred the chicken thighs:

  • Remove the chicken thighs from the pot and remove the skin. Shred the meat from the bone and discard the bones and skin. Return the shredded chicken to the pot. Bring the soup back to a boil.

Cook the orzo:

  • Once the soup is boiling, add the orzo. Stir regularly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook for 10 minutes until al dente.

Finish the soup:

  • Mince the green parts of the scallion and stir them into the soup along with the juice from the lemon—taste and season once more to your preferences.

To serve:

  • Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with fennel fronds and more minced parsley. Enjoy!


Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 154mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 56mg
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