Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lemon Chicken Orzo

I used to love to cook. I used to use leafy things with fruity things. I used to make herbed syrups.

Then I had kids.

A sweet lady at my church, fishing for conversational fodder with my four year old daughter, asked what Annabel's favorite food was.

"Fingernails and cardboard."

We have since coached her to say, "cake."

This is better. Much more acceptable for my pink frilly daughter to love cake.

Also, she has, on more than one occasion, eaten an entire stick of sidewalk chalk. I think she really likes the neutral colors best. I never thought I would have to tell my kids not to eat chalk. I thought,
in the way that first time expectant parents do, I will simply allow my children to do non-harmful things and learn by experience. After two of three entire sticks of sidewalk chalk ended up in two year old Annabel's diaper, I decided to do what any reasonable parent would do: I tasted it. Maybe chalk is ok. Tasteless and more of a texture thing; like crunchies in sushi. Nope. Chalk is terrible.

And Annabel refuses to eat most of what I cook.

Apparently my cooking is worse than chalk.

Which is why I am giving you all this recipe. I realize that it is a simple chicken soup, but it is made of entirely edible ingredients and Annabel finished her bowl. We will probably eat it three nights a week.

Print Recipe

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Course: Soup
Serves: 8


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 celery stalk thinly sliced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • Zest 2 lemons
  • 2 lemons Juice of - (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. 1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. 2. Add the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice bay leaf and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until orzo is tender. Add the chicken and heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. 3. Remove the pot from the heat. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm.
  4. Note-You can use shredded rotisserie chicken in this soup.

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