Chicken and Toasted Orzo Soup with Celery Greens

chicken-orzo-soup Photo: Travis Rathbone; Food Stylist: Liza Jernow; Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth


  • 1 whole bone-in chicken breast (about 1 1/2 lb.), skin removed
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 celery heart
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice


1. In a large, heavy pot, cover chicken and thyme with 8 cups water. Season with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

2. While water comes to a boil (may take up to 20 minutes), remove 4 outer ribs and cut remaining 2 into 2-inch pieces. Remove pale leaves from inner ribs and coarsely chop leaves; set aside. Peel carrots and halve lengthwise. Thinly slice 2 carrots and cut remaining 2 into 2-inch pieces. Peel onions; chop 1 and quarter other. In a bowl, combine chopped onion and sliced carrots and celery; transfer remaining vegetables to pot with chicken.

3. Cover pot and simmer over medium-low heat until chicken is opaque throughout, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken and transfer to a plate to cool slightly; strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl (discard solids). Wipe pot dry; return to stove over medium-high heat.

4. Melt butter in pot; add reserved vegetables and orzo and cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender and orzo is lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add broth, cover and bring to a boil; cook until orzo is al dente, about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice and celery leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Slice chicken and transfer to 4 bowls. Ladle soup over chicken and serve.

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  • Yield: 4

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 314
Fat per serving: 10g
Saturated fat per serving: 5g
Cholesterol per serving: 102mg
Fiber per serving: 2g
Protein per serving: 32g
Carbohydrates per serving: 22g
Sodium per serving: 437mg
Iron per serving: 1mg
Calcium per serving: 34mg

Good to Know

If you're going to freeze this soup, prepare it without the orzo. Toast the orzo in a pot before adding to thawed soup.

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