This Parmesan lemon chicken orzo soup is a brighter take on traditional chicken noodle soup. This easy chicken soup recipe comes together in under an hour. With its extra shot of vitamin C from fresh lemon juice, it is the perfect immune booster in cold and flu season.
This Parmesan Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is the fifth meal in my grief meal series. Unlike the other recipes in this series, this meal wasn’t gifted to us after our loss. Instead, this meal was the first meal that I cooked myself after I had my sons and lost one, and to my broken heart that feels just as important. In some ways it was wanting to make this soup that led me a little back to myself.
I don’t know why I chose to make this soup as my first meal back. One day I just felt like making chicken soup. I was craving something comforting but something lighter and brighter. Something that would soothe my weary self.
And that’s chicken soup. There’s a reason why so many people eat chicken soup when they are sick or sad. It’s the ultimate in comfort food. I normally make chicken soup at some point each winter when the winter plague inevitably rears its ugly head in our house. This year that plague happened about 3 days after I got out of the hospital after having my boys. Because it happened then, I didn’t make soup. I still didn’t know which way was up at that point.
And then one January day, I finally felt like cooking again. The cooking urge hit me out of the blue and it had to be soup and it had to be cheerful. Now I don’t know if cheerful soup makes sense but to me this soup is the epitome of cheerful. The bright lemony flavor makes it feel like springtime in a bowl. And, well, Parmesan cheese makes almost everything better. It’s just a fact of life.
This Parmesan lemon chicken orzo soup is very easy to make. It was the perfect way to get my hands dirty in the kitchen again. All it really requires is rough chopping some onions, carrots, and celery and softening them in the soup pot in some olive oil. Then you just add the chicken right in and let it start to brown before you pour in some stock. You finish it off with seasonings and a hefty dose of lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Less than an hour later, you have a huge, bubbly pot of homemade soup ready to go.
Tips for Making the Parmesan Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- To keep cook time quick, I precut the chicken into inch pieces prior to cooking. If you want to save even more time, feel free to shred up a rotisserie chicken.
- Stir the Parmesan cheese in at the end. Doing this at the end prevents the cheese from burning.
- Use low sodium chicken stock to better control how salty the soup is.
Looking for other chicken soup recipes? Try these:
Looking for other grief meal recipes? Try these:
- Quick Lemon Pesto Chicken and Orzo Skillet
- Beef and Quinoa Taco Skillet
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Roasted Southwestern Steak and Potatoes
Lemon and parmesan cheese add bright flavor to this comforting, easy to make lemon Parmesan chicken noodle soup.
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1 medium sized sweet onion, chopped
- 1 cup of chopped carrots (2–3 large carrots)
- 1 cup of chopped celery (2 stalks of celery)
- 4 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 2 chicken breasts, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup of dry orzo
- the juice of 2 lemons
- 1 cup of Parmesan cheese
- Heat olive oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add chicken and season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until chicken starts to brown. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Add orzo and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Serve hot. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
- Serving Size: 1 serving