Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

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(not my best photo ever!)

This easy chicken soup is made with a light and refreshing lemon broth, orzo pasta, and vegetables. It is healthy and perfect for a cold day!

I found it at Two Peas & Their Pod, but I prepared the chicken a bit differently because I had boneless, skinless thighs in the refrigerator. Lately my husband is loving the flavor and moisture natural to chicken thighs vs. the way breasts tend to become dry so easily.

So, first I rinsed, salted and peppered the thighs and then cooked them in a bit of olive oil right in my deep soup pot. They didn’t take long. I removed them to cool and started sauteing the vegetables without even cleaning the pot. However, if you picked up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery, shredding that meat would work well, too!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil (1 for chicken, 1 for vegetables)

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced (you know I use jarred garlic!)

2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1-2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

8 cups chicken broth

zest of 2 lemons

juice of 2 lemons (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

Directions:

1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat (cook chicken if needed). Saute onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until tender, about 5 minutes.

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 cooked, shredded chicken and heat for about 5 minutes.

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.

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