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Overhead shot of bowl of lemon chicken orzo soup with a plate of crusty bread.

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Spring Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Dill

This hearty and wholesome Spring Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Dill is full of bright flavors and nourishing seasonal vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken tenders, You could also use breasts or thighs, but cooking times will vary.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and thinly sliced
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced (about a cup)
  • 1 rib of celery, thinly sliced (about a cup)
  • 2 cups roughly chopped kale (ribs removed)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 0.5 oz fresh dill, roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 2 large lemons, zested and juiced

Equipment

  • Large soup pot
  • Tongs
  • sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Mandolin (optional)
  • Zester/microplane
  • Meat thermometer (optional)
  • Forks, for shredding the chicken

Instructions 

  • Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  • With tongs, carefully add the chicken tenders to the pot; season with salt and pepper. After about five minutes, carefully flip the chicken tenders and cook on the other side for about five minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165º F.
  • Remove the chicken tenders from the pot and set them aside on a cutting board.
  • Add another TBSP of oil to the pot, then add the garlic, leeks, carrots, celery, and chopped kale; sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Let the veggies simmer until tender. If you find that the pot dries out and the veggies start to stick, add a few splashes of chicken stock to the pot.
  • Once the vegetables are tender, stir in the fresh dill and the frozen peas.
  • Add the chicken stock to the pot and bring the soup to a simmer.
  • Once the soup is simmering, add the orzo and let the soup continue to simmer until the orzo is cooked, stirring occasionally. This should only take about 5-7 minutes.
  • In the meantime, shred the chicken tenders with two forks or roughly chop the chicken into small chunks—whatever your preference.
  • Once the orzo is cooked, transfer the chicken to the soup.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and zest, and give the soup a taste. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Best served with a hunk of fresh crusty bread.

Notes

This soup can be frozen, but it's best if you freeze it without the orzo in it as the orzo becomes mushy once thawed. So if you plan on freezing this soup after making it, simply omit the orzo and add it later, once thawed and ready to eat.
Serving: 1bowl, Calories: 234kcal