Creamy Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup


Helen Schofield

If you're feeling the chill this week, we prescribe a bowl of this creamy, lemony, wholesome chicken soup packed with veggies and satisfying orzo or risoni. Delicious, and you can have it on the table in just 30 minutes! Our popular recipe blogger Helen says: "There are so many cool things about this soup, I think what I like most about it is that while it’s a nice chunky soup with plenty of veggie goodness in it, it’s also light enough to throw in a Tupperware and take to work for lunch." We hope you enjoy. 


  • 1 pound / 500 grams chicken thighs or breast, chopped into small pieces and rolled in about 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons mixed Italian herbs (or ½ teaspoon each oregano, thyme, basil)
  • 2 bay leaves and 1 parmesan rind (both optional)
  • 7 cups / 1.6 litres chicken stock
  • ¾ cup / 150 grams orzo (or other small pasta)*
  • ⅓ cup / 80ml cream
  • 2 large handfuls chopped spinach
  • the zest and juice of 1 small lemon (equal to about 3 tablespoons juice)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Pan fry the chicken pieces in a large saucepan or heavy-bottomed casserole dish in a large drizzle of oil for a few minutes until all the pieces have turned white. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add a little more oil to the pan and saute the onion, carrots, and celery together for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the garlic and herbs to the pan and stir for a few seconds, then add the bay leaves and parmesan rind (if using), stock, and orzo.
  4. Add the chicken back into the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the orzo is cooked.
  5. Finally, add the cream, spinach, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and serve!


  • I actually didn’t have quite enough orzo left the last time I made this soup, so I made up the rest with giant couscous. Use any small pasta you like if you can’t find orzo! Gnocchi and tortellini also works well in this soup. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions. 
  • This soup is on the chunky side, but feel free to add a bit more water at the end if you think you’d prefer a thinner soup (obviously this will also make it go a bit further!).



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