Recipes Greek Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Greek Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup: A Flavorful and Comforting Dish

Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of Greece with this delectable Greek Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. This hearty and comforting dish combines tender chicken, plump orzo pasta, aromatic vegetables, and a vibrant lemon-infused broth, creating a symphony of flavors that will warm your soul.

Ingredients:

For the Soup:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Lemon-Herb Gremolata:

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the chicken breasts and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.

Step 2: Sauté the Vegetables

  • Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery to the pot.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add the Orzo

  • Stir in the orzo pasta and cook for 1 minute, or until it becomes slightly toasted.

Step 4: Create the Broth

  • Add the chicken broth and water to the pot.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Return the Chicken

  • Add the reserved chicken breasts back to the pot.
  • Continue simmering for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Step 6: Season the Soup

  • Stir in the lemon juice, oregano, salt, and black pepper.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Step 7: Make the Gremolata

  • In a small bowl, combine the parsley, dill, mint, lemon zest, and olive oil.
  • Stir until well combined.

Step 8: Serve and Garnish

  • Remove the chicken breasts from the soup and shred them.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the shredded chicken.
  • Sprinkle with the lemon-herb gremolata.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tips:

  • For a richer flavor, use homemade chicken broth instead of store-bought.
  • If you don’t have orzo pasta, you can substitute it with any small pasta shape, such as ditalini or acini di pepe.
  • To make the soup ahead of time, cook the soup according to the instructions and let it cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, reheat the soup over medium heat until warmed through.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit the chicken and add an extra cup of vegetables, such as zucchini, bell peppers, or spinach.

Variations:

  • Add a handful of chopped fresh spinach or kale to the soup for extra nutrients.
  • Stir in a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream for a creamy touch.
  • Top the soup with crumbled feta cheese for a salty and tangy flavor.
  • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a subtle kick.

Health Benefits:

Greek Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. The chicken provides lean protein, while the vegetables offer an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The lemon juice is a rich source of vitamin C, which supports immune function. The herbs in the gremolata, such as parsley, dill, and mint, are known for their anti-inflammatory and digestive properties.

Conclusion:

Greek Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is a culinary masterpiece that combines the vibrant flavors of Greece with the comforting warmth of a hearty soup. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal or a special dish to share with loved ones, this soup is sure to impress. So gather your ingredients, fire up your stove, and embark on a culinary journey that will tantalize your taste buds and nourish your body.

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