chicken + orzo soup

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts large
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 cups carrots chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 5 ounces shredded kale
  • 2 lemons zest + juice
  • 1 pound orzo

Instructions

  • Season the 2 large chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to low, add the 6 garlic cloves and cook for another 3 minutes, until golden.
  • Add 2 cups of carrots, 1 tablespoon of thyme, 1 tablespoon of rosemary and a  big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes before adding 8 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or up to 4-6 hours over low heat.
  • Using tongs, remove the chicken and shred. Stir in the  ½ cup of Parmesan, 5 oz shredded kale, and lemon zest + juice of 2 lemons; continue cooking for another 5 minutes before stirring back in the shredded chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the 1 pound of orzo according to package directions, until al dente. Drain.
  • Divide the orzo among individual bowls and pour the soup over top. Top with more shredded Parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon, if desired.

SLOW COOKER METHOD

  • In the bowl of your slow cooker, combine the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 large chicken breasts, 6 garlic cloves, 2 cups of carrots, 1 tablespoon of thyme, 1 tablespoon of rosemary, 8 cups of chicken broth,, and a big pinch of salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
  • Once finished, remove the chicken and shred. Stir the ½ cup of Parmesan, 5 cups of kale, lemon zest + juice of 2 lemons  into the soup. Stir the chicken back in the soup and warm for another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the 1 pound of orzo according to package directions, until al dente. Drain.
  • Divide the orzo among individual bowls and pour the soup over top. Top with more shredded Parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon, if desired.

INSTANT POT METHOD

  • Season the 2 chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Set Instant Pot to sauté and add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil.. Once hot, add the chicken and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Stir in the 5 cloves of garlic and cook for another 3 minutes, until golden. Add the 2 cups of carrots, 1 tablespoon of thyme, 1 tablespoon of rosemary and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Add the 8 cups of chicken broth  and cover and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and shred.
  • Set Instant Pot to sauté and stir in the 1 pound of orzo,½ cup of Parmesan, 5 cups of kale, and lemon zest + juice of 2 lemons, cooking for another 8 minutes, until the orzo is al dente. Stir back in the shredded chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as needed.
  • Divide the soup evenly among the bowls. Top with more shredded Parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon, if desired.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

  • To complete the meal serve with a salad mix and garlic bread or breadsticks.

SWAP SUGGESTIONS

  • Vegetarian: Instead of chicken, add a can of white beans to the soup or double the carrots.
  • Chicken: You can use any variety of boneless chicken. Chicken breasts, thighs, tenders, etc. You can also use a shredded rotisserie chicken that you stir in at the end.
  • Greens: You can swap the kale for baby spinach.

Nutrition

Calories: 556kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 376mg | Potassium: 1023mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 9656IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 201mg | Iron: 3mg