Mealtime Favorites: Lemony Chicken Soup

Mealtime Favorites: Lemony Chicken Soup

Something about soup is just so comforting - and soup can be such an easy meal to cook. Truth be told I don’t like most chicken noodles soups, they often seem mushy or something to me?  But this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is hands down a family favorite and I make it once a week in the cooler months. Occasionally my kids even ask for it in the summer . It’s easy to make ahead- or prep ahead. Some markets even sell fresh  “mirepoix” which is prechopped celery, carrots and onion, which skips an entire step as well! Cooking the veggies in the same pot the chicken was cooked in helps bring extra flavor and depth to this lemony chicken soup.

The original recipe calls for cooking the noddles directly in the pot at the very end, but I opt for cook them in a separate pot because otherwise, if there’s left overs, the noodles absorb all the broth overnight (perhaps that’s why I don’t like regular chicken noodle soup!) I’m into the one pot concept though- less mess! But for this creamy lemon chicken soup, using 2 pots feels worth it for an easy meal my entire family will devour.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 6 cups chicken stock

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta (or other noodle. I’ve used brown rice as well!) 

  • 1 sprig rosemary

  • Juice of 1 lemon (Or more of you love lemony!) 


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  2. Start boiling the water for your orzo , noodles or quick cook brown rice . 
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot you used in step 1. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaves and bring to a boil. Stir in rosemary and chicken; reduce heat and simmer until orzo or noodles/rice is done.  Stir in lemon juice and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve immediately.