This cozy Chicken Soup recipe is made with bone-in chicken thighs, orzo and lemon juice. Extra vegetables and a little ginger make it super flavorful, warming and great for a chilly day!
Sometimes there is just nothing better than a bowl of warm chicken soup on a chilly day. Especially when it requires minimal prep and is full of flavor.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- Healthy. This chicken soup is filled with vegetables, anti-inflammatory turmeric and ginger.
- Filling. The soup is hearty and will keep you full for hours.
- Flavorful. Juicy bone-in chicken thighs make this soup extra flavorful.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken thighs- this recipe calls for bone-in chicken thighs. They add so much additional flavor to the chicken soup and are juicy unlike chicken breasts. I highly recommend not substituting them. However, you can use boneless chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Vegetables- you will need a yellow or white onion, carrots, celery and a zucchini. If you prefer, you can add any of your favorite vegetables such as spinach or corn.
- Orzo- use ¾ cup of orzo. You can also use another small pasta such as ditalini.
- Lemon juice- the juice from ½ of a lemon squeezed in at the end elevates this soup.
See the recipe card below for quantities and remaining ingredients.
Grab what you need for this recipe:
- Cutting board
- Garlic press
- Large pot or Dutch oven
- Measuring spoons and cups needed: ½ teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, ¼ cup and 1 cup.
This delicious lemon and orzo chicken soup recipe comes together easily in one pot. Dinner will be done in less than an hour.
- Brown the chicken thighs. In a large pot, add olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Sauté the veggies. Add the vegetables to the pot and cook until softened.
- Stir in the spices. Combine the vegetables with the spices in the pot, add the chicken back in (skin removed) and pour in the broth. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Shred the chicken. Remove the chicken from the pot, get rid of the bones and shred. Add it back to the pot with the orzo.
- Serve. Once the orzo is cooked, turn off the heat and squeeze in lemon juice. Serve and enjoy!
I recommend serving the chicken soup on its own as it is filling as is. However, you can serve it with crackers, crusty bread and butter or your favorite sandwich.
Storage and Reheating
This recipe is perfect for making a big batch of soup to enjoy as lunches or dinners for the week. The soup will stay good in the fridge for about 2 days before the orzo becomes too mushy. If storing for longer you may want to cook and store the orzo separate from the soup. This will allow you to keep leftovers for about 5 days.
You can freeze for up to 3 months but it may be best to add orzo when reheating. Reheat in the microwave for about 2 minutes.
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Lemon Orzo Chicken Soup with Chicken Thighs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds bone in chicken thighs
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
- 4 cups chicken broth
- ¾ cup orzo
- ½ lemon juiced
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken thighs for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken from the pan, let cool for a few minutes and remove the skin.
- Add the onion, carrots, celery and zucchini to the pot and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, salt, pepper, turmeric and ginger.
- Add chicken back to the pot with the bay leaf, thyme and rosemary.
- Pour in the chicken broth, cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes
- Take the chicken out of the pot, remove the bones and shred with two forks.
- Add the chicken back to the pot with the orzo and simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the orzo is cooked.
- Turn off the heat and squeeze in the lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. Serve and enjoy!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.