Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Adds a Greek touch to chicken soup

INGREDIENTS:
8 ounces orzo
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
3 liters, low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
8 ounces cooked chicken breast, chopped
1 (8 oz.) package baby spinach leaves
1 lemon, sliced for garnish
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

YIELD:

COURSE: Soups and Stews

CUISINE: Greek

Prep Time: 20 min

Cooking Time: 1 hrs 0 min

Total Time: 1 hrs 20 min

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook orzo in the boiling water until partially cooked through but not yet soft, about 5 minutes; drain and rinse with cold water until cooled completely.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir carrots, celery, and onion in hot oil until the vegetables begin to soften and the onion becomes translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Season mixture with thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper, and bay leaf; continue cooking another 30 seconds before pouring chicken broth into the pot.
  3. Bring the broth to a boil. Partially cover the pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vegetables are just tender about 10 minutes. Stir orzo, lemon juice, and lemon zest into the broth; add chicken. Cook until the chicken and orzo are heated through, about 5 minutes. Add baby spinach; cook until the spinach wilts into the broth and the orzo is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with lemon slices and Parmesan cheese.