Lemony Dill Orzo Chicken Soup

So we are all stuck at home trying to limit the outbreak of COVID-19. I won’t tell you how many stores I’ve been to but it’s in the neighborhood of nearly 20. If you’ve been following my Instagram stories, I’ve been cooking more. What are you doing to stay occupied?

I’ve made this recipe around 5 times so far. I am surprised each time at how amazing it is. It’s very satiating and very bright with the combination of lemon juice and zest, and dill together. The layer of flavor that comes from the leeks also gives it a little something extra. It’s a nice little spin on your typical chicken noodle soup. If you like more carrots, more celery, more leeks, or chicken by all means add them. This soup also freezes well too.

If you don’t have time to make your own chicken stock, I highly suggest stopping at Trader Joe’s. Their organic chicken stock is $2.29 for 32 ounces and is well worth it. The entire recipe can be found uninterrupted below the pictures for ease of copying.

As always, any questions feel free to leave a comment.  Bon Appétit et prenez soin de vous!

Lemony Dill Orzo Chicken Soup

  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 celery ribs, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 carrots
  • 2-3 lbs of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 6 cups chicken broth
 (or stock)
  • 2 cups of water
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups orzo
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
 (one package from Trader Joe’s is enough)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced into a bowl

First slice your leek in half like the image below and soak in water to remove all the sand from inside the layers.  Rinse a couple of times and you should be good to go. I put the cut side down into the water.

IMG_3809

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat.

Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper on the topside of the chicken, then put your chicken in the pan with the salt and pepper side down, while the chicken is pan searing with the salt and pepper side down, sprinkle salt and pepper on topside. You should pan sear each side for around 3 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. I tend to do this in two batches as to not crowd the chicken.  You are not cooking the chicken all the way through, you’re building flavor and sealing the chicken.

Add dash of oil then add carrots and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 5-8 minutes add leeks in once the celery starts to turn to a more translucent color (around the 4 minute mark). You’ll smell the carrots getting sweet, this is how you’ll know you’re ready for the next step. The vegetables will help release the flavors from the pan-seared chicken so scrape scrape scrapey!

Add chicken broth and return chicken to pan. I tend to prefer the use of stock over broth and if you have access to a good stock use that instead. I use 4 cups of Trader Joe’s stock then 4 cups of water.

IMG_0393

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

Remove chicken to a plate then let it cool, then shred chicken into bite-size pieces using two forks.

IMG_0684

Meanwhile, return the broth to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Return shredded chicken to the pot, add in fresh chopped dill then stir.

IMG_6684

Take a spoon full or two of the lemon zest and juice and put it into the bowl you are serving the soup in, ladle the soup in over the lemon juice and serve with a warm buttered baguette.

IMG_0533 2

IMG_0806

 

Lemony Dill Orzo Chicken Soup

  •  1 to- 1 1/2tablespoon olive oil
  •  2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
  •  4 celery ribs, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 carrots
  • 2-3 lbs of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 6 cups chicken broth
 (or stock)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups orzo
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
 (one package from Trader Joe’s is enough)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced into a bowl

First slice your leeks in half and soak in water to remove all the sand from inside the layers.  Rinse a couple of times and you should be good to go. I put the cut side down into the water.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat.

Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper on the topside of the chicken, then put your chicken in the pan with the salt and pepper side down, while the chicken is pan searing with the salt and pepper side down, sprinkle salt and pepper on topside. You should pan sear each side for around 3 minutes. You’ll know when to flip it because the meat will easily release from the pan. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. I tend to do this in two batches as to not crowd the chicken.  You are not cooking the chicken all the way through, you’re building flavor and sealing the chicken.

Add dash of oil then add carrots and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 5-8 minutes add leeks in once the celery starts to turn to a more translucent color (around the 4 minute mark). The vegetables will help release the flavors from the pan-seared chicken so scrape scrape scrapey!

Add chicken broth and return chicken to pan. I tend to prefer the use of stock over broth and if you have access to a good stock use that instead. I use 4 cups of Trader Joe’s stock then 4 cups of water.

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

Remove chicken to a plate then let it cool, then shred chicken into bite-size pieces using two forks.

Meanwhile, return the broth to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Return shredded chicken to the pot, add in fresh chopped dill then stir.

Take a spoon full or two of the lemon zest and juice and put it into the bowl you are serving the soup in, ladle the soup in over the lemon juice and serve with a warm buttered baguette.

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