Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo


  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1 bag of carrots, peeled and cut
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 lb. cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 3 (32 oz.) containers low sodium chicken stock, or homemade stock
  • 1 C uncooked orzo (more or less depending on desired consistency)
  • 10 springs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 C lemon juice
  • 4 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • fresh cracked pepper, to taste


  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, coating with oil.  Add carrot, celery, onion and 2-3 sprigs of thyme.  Cook until soft. 
  2. Add chicken, and pour in broth.  Bring to a boil. 
  3. Add orzo, remaining sprigs of time, lemon juice, and spinach. 
  4. Add garlic salt, salt and pepper, to taste. 
  5. Turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes or longer. 
  6. Adjust seasonings to taste.


  • I started with stock using the carcass of my very first roast chicken.  (I based my chicken on Ina Garten’s recipe for Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken and this recipe for Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme.) 
  • After straining my stock, I realized I was going to need much more broth.  Not wanting to water down the flavor, I added a container of chicken broth. 
  • After letting it simmer, I realized the 2 cups of orzo I added had thickened considerably, so I added yet another container of broth to thin it out a bit. 
  • I had intentions of using the roast chicken specifically for this soup, so my meat was already beautifully flavored.  I used only the white breast meat for the soup.
  • Make sure to taste to see what your preference is for the lemon juice.  I liked it with 1/2 C but you make enjoy it with more or less. 
  • I overcomplicated this recipe on myself by wasting time making my own stock, which I don’t think was necessary. 
  • I also have a terrible habit of thinking that I need to add more pasta, only to have it thicken into a stew-like consistency later, which always results in me thinning it out with more stock.