Chicken & Orzo Soup with Lemon & Dill
Recipe type: Soup, Lunch, Dinner, Poultry
Cuisine: American, Winter, Spring
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
This light, bright chicken soup is a sure cure-all.
  • ¾ c. Orzo Pasta
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Leek, white and pale green parts only, cut crosswise ¼" thick
  • 1 stalk Celery, sliced crosswise ¼" thick
  • 4 Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless, and trimmed of excess fat
  • 6 c. Chicken Stock (homemade or low-sodium)
  • about ¼ c. chopped Fresh Dill
  • Lemon Wedges
  • Kosher Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  1. Spread the orzo over the bottom of a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Place over medium-high heat and toast the pasta until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes, stirring periodically. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Now add about 2 Tbsp. olive oil to the soup pot and place over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and celery, season lightly with salt, and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and chicken thighs to the pot and bring to a boil. I used barely seasoned homemade chicken stock, so I added a few pinches of salt at this point. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. When the chicken is cooked through, pull it out of the pot. Bring the liquid back up to a boil and add the toasted orzo. Boil until the pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-sized strips. When the pasta has finished cooking, add the chicken back into the soup. Remove from heat. Taste. Season as needed with salt and freshly ground pepper, then stir in the dill and a bit of fresh lemon juice. I add just enough lemon juice to brighten the flavors and serve additional lemon wedges alongside so everyone can get just the citrus zing they're looking for.
Recipe by strawberryplum at