This bright, lemony chicken soup is inspired by Greek Avgolemono soup. This rendition is a quicker version made without the traditional egg-lemon mixture, opting for simple lemon juice and fresh spinach instead. Enjoy this aromatic soup as a hearty lunch or have a smaller portion as a starter to a Mediterranean-style entrée like Weeknight Fish En Papillote.
- 6 Servings
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Calories: 359
- 11/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 cup orzo pasta, dry
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (juice from approx. 3 lemons)
- 11/2 cups spinach, raw
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- black pepper
Heat pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Once hot, add chicken to the pot. Stir with a wooden spoon to cook chicken evenly for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove chicken from the pot and set aside.
Next, add the remaining oil to the pot; then add carrots, celery and garlic to the pot. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add thyme to the vegetables and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Add chicken broth, water and bay leaves to the pot. Allow to simmer for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turn heat to high and bring liquid to a boil. Once boiling, stir in orzo and chicken, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until orzo is done, about 10 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice and spinach. Allow spinach to wilt. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy.