Some people will only eat soup once the weather takes a turn for the chilly. I, however, will eat soup any time of year on any type of day. Because, if you’re asking me, soup is a perfect thing. It’s a complete meal in a bowl that’s always utterly comforting… nothing warms the soul like a bowl of soup. And if you’re looking for a bowl that’ll truly do that any time of year, it’s this one. While it’s plenty hearty enough to fill you up, the lemon flavor keeps things bright enough that it’s welcome whatever the weather, and it still manages to feel like a bowl full of comfort.
It’s an ‘avgolemono’ style of soup – a Greek technique where eggs and lemon juice are whisked together before being stirred into the broth to thicken it up a touch. What that means is you get a silky, velvety, almost creamy finish without relying on any dairy whatsoever.
The major components here are shredded chicken (it’s a great use for leftover rotisserie!) and chewy orzo, but there’s carrot, onion, and garlic too, and just enough baby spinach to add some earthiness to the mix. The main note, though, is lemon, which shines bright above everything else, though that silky, egg-laced broth backs it up and keeps it relatively down to earth.
Though it really has that ‘all-day simmer’ type of flavor, this soup is actually just a quick thirty-minute undertaking. And with plenty of protein and a fair amount of nutrient-rich veggies, it’s comfort food you can always feel good about eating.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Serves 6-8; 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots and onion and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté one minute more.
- Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add orzo and cook until soft and tender. Stir in cooked chicken and remove from heat.
- Whisk eggs and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Temper your eggs by scooping some of the hot broth from the soup pot and mixing it into the egg mixture.
- Add warmed egg mixture back to the soup pot slowly, stirring constantly, until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in spinach and dill, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve! Enjoy.
Recipe adapted from Aberdeen's Kitchen.