This lemon chicken orzo soup can be made in the slow cooker, instant pot or on the stovetop! It’s a light, yet filling, warm soup that is great for a cooler autumn day.
I haven’t posted a soup in a while! I guess there was this corn chowder, but before that the last one was this chickpea chicken curry or this chicken broccoli cheddar soup. Sean is a big fan of soups and would eat soups everyday if he could. As for me, I reserve soups for fall and winter and that’s about it.
Speaking of Sean, I asked him to describe the soup to me because sometimes I have writer’s block and well, writing this blog post is my least favorite task of the job. But here is one thing he said, “it’s warm, but not just temperature warm, you know?” Yep, I know it warms the soul!
Let’s get started on what exactly lemon chicken orzo soup is and why it’s so delightfully good.
- Garlic: Because you always need garlic. Speaking of garlic, Hope foods has this AH-mazing garlic dip at Costco right now! Run, don’t walk!
- Onions, celery, carrot: The basic foundation of any good soup. Also known as mirepoix. You can buy the three already pre-mixed, but buying fresh and chopping it yourself is always better.
- Chicken broth: Look for a low sodium base because we will add our own salt to the soup.
- Orzo: You will need one cup uncooked orzo. I love orzo for so many reasons, but it’s also one of Sean’s favorites
- Bay leaves: A common aromatic leaf used in soups. Make sure to take it out before eating because they have a bitter and pungent taste if eaten.
- Lemon, thyme and parmesan cheese: Lemon should be added at the end! Thyme is so good and has a distinct taste/flavor that really adds to the soup. Parmesan cheese, well because it’s parmesan cheese! Grated is best for this recipe because its blends better. You can use it as a garnish at the end.
Ways to make Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- Stovetop: In a large stock pot, sauté onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes with 2 tablespoons cooking oil and a little salt. Add in carrots, celery, bay leaves, chicken, chicken broth, and water. Cover and let the soup boil for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. You can add in the orzo for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Once finished, remove from heat and add in lemon, thyme and black pepper.
- Instant pot: This is my favorite method to cook this soup but be aware… You have to put a dish towel over the valve when you release the steam! Because of the starch in the orzo, it spews out of the top of the valve. A dishtowel will prevent the starch from going everywhere. For the instant pot method, just sauté the garlic and onion as you would if it were on the stovetop using the sauté feature. Then add the remaining ingredients with the exception of the lemon and thyme. Cook on manual for 12 minutes. Release the valve on venting mode and put a dishtowel over the top to prevent steam from going everywhere. Open the lid and remove the chicken, shred it and place it back into the instant pot. Add lemon juice and thyme with cracked pepper.
- Crockpot/Slow cooker: Add everything into the slow cooker except the orzo, lemon juice and thyme. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8. Remove chicken, shred it and place it back in the slow cooker. Stir in cooked orzo, lemon juice and thyme.
I would love to know if you like this lemon chicken orzo soup in an instant pot, crockpot or on the stovetop better!Print
This lemon chicken orzo soup can be made in a slow cooker, instant pot or on the stovetop. It’s a light, yet filling, warm soup!
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 2 tbsp cooking oil (avocado or EVOO is okay)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup carrots, quartered (about 2 small carrots)
- 1 cup celery, quartered (about 2 stalks)
- 1 quart low sodium chicken broth (or 4 cups)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup orzo (dry, uncooked)
- 2–3 bay leaves, whole
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3–4 sprigs of thyme, devined
- Garnish: Parmesan cheese, saltines, cracked pepper
Stovetop: In a large stock pot, sauté onion and garlic with 2 tbsp of oil and a pinch of salt for 2-3 minutes. Add carrots, celery, bay leaves, chicken, chicken broth and water. Cover and bring to a boil for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add in orzo at a boil and cook until done. Please note that smaller, thinner pieces of chicken will cook faster. Once the chicken has finished cooking, using tongs, remove the chicken from the pot. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Shred the chicken using two forks to pull it apart and place the shredded chicken back into the pot. Add in lemon and thyme leaves. Garnish as desired.
Instant pot: On sauté mode, place onion, garlic, 2 tbsp oil and pinch of salt in the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in carrots, celery, chicken, chicken broth, water, bay leaves and orzo. Place the lid on the instant pot and make sure the valve is turned to sealing. Cook in manual mode for 12 minutes. When the time is up, turn the valve to venting and make sure to put a towel over the top of the valve. Because of the starch content in the orzo, steam and starch will release. The dish towel will prevent them from going everywhere. Remove the bay leaves and chicken from the soup. Shred the chicken and discard the bay leaves. Add lemon juice and thyme leaves to the pot and stir. Garnish as desired.
Crockpot/slow cooker: Add everything to the slow cooker except the orzo, lemon juice and thyme. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Remove the chicken and bay leaves. Discard the bay leaves and shred the chicken. Place the chicken back in the crockpot and add lemon juice and thyme leaves. Make the orzo separately, drain it and stir it into the crockpot. Garnish as desired.
Keywords: lemon chicken orzo soup, lemon chicken orzo soup instant pot, lemon chicken orzo soup crockpot