Chicken and Orzo Soup

September 27th, 2014

Chicken and orzo Soup 3


You can gather, from my previous post, that we have been eating well lately. . . . almost too well.   That is why, that on occasion, I have to step away from those dishes redolent with fat, calories and sugar.  It is my cleanse so to speak.  I was reading one of my DIL’s Nutrition Newsletters recently and it was recommended that people in my age group (he-hem) should strive for 11 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  Eleven, really?  That is 3 servings per meal, plus 2 snacks.  I am not sure that I can reach that goal, but it has made me think more seriously about the choices that I make.

Chicken and Orzo Soup 2V


One of the soups that makes me feel virtuous, is this recipe from Cooking Light.  It is full of vegies like carrots, celery, onions and spinach.  It is easy to prepare, especially when you use a rotisserie chicken and it is tasty and good for you.  The orzo pasta adds just the right amount of noodle feel to the mix.  What more could you want for an easy fix to the “I’ve overdone it blues”?  To your health.  Enjoy.

  • 1 (32-ounce) container fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes ( Or meat from a rotisserie chicken) 
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  1. 1. Bring 1 3/4 cups broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add orzo; cook 10 minutes or until done.
  2. 2. While orzo cooks, heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add carrot, celery, onion, and chicken; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining 2 1/4 cups broth, 1 1/4 cups water, parsley, and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Discard herb sprigs. Add orzo, spinach, juice, salt, and pepper; simmer 1 minute.

Printable Recipe

27 responses to “Chicken and Orzo Soup”

  1. Madonna says:

    Sounds delish Penny. I think I can fit in eleven serving since a piece of fruit is usually counted as two or three servings. A serving of protein is the size of a deck of cards. My problem is my sweet tooth.


    • Penny says:

      Thanks for the clarification Madonna. I need to check the RDA for portion size. Irregardless, we all need to eat more fruits and vegies.

  2. We should all eat more like this. We’ve been enjoying our meals a bit too much lately. Your soup would be perfect for dinner or lunch and it’s just the right amount of pasta. As to the amount of fruit and vegetables, we try but don’t normally eat the required amounts, but I do prepare a lot of fruit in the mornings.

  3. Monique says:

    I actually love light soups:)
    And crave them more than a dessert.
    Especially with bits of color~
    Hard to get that many fresh fruit and veggie servings a day.
    But definitely a great plan to have..
    Thank you for the CL recipe!

  4. Catherine says:

    Dear Penny, A perfect soup to begin this chilly season with. Chicken soup is my favorite and I love orzo in the soup. Blessings, Catherine

  5. Barb Bobik says:

    We had beer can chickens from the grill yesterday & only ate one, so I may use the other for this soup. I was thinking chicken & noodles, but this recipe seems much lighter. Thanks SIL for the inspiration.

  6. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    That sounds like a perfectly healthy soup. Much healthier than the loaded baked potato soup I made last night, lol.

  7. Pam says:

    Great soup, very healthy and it sounds delicious. 11 servings a day sounds like quite a bit to me also, kind of hard to do that. I’m a big fan of Cooking Light’s recipes and thanks for this one!

  8. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    I just linked to your soup on my post Penny…

  9. Barbara says:

    I’m hoping each of the veggies I put in my salad every day count individually! 🙂 I do eat fruit for breakfast and an orange in the middle of the afternoon.
    Your soup looks delish, Penny. (They are so difficult to photograph, you did a fabulous job.)

    • Penny says:

      Thanks Barbara. You are doing better than I am with a daily salad, fruit for breakfast and an orange in the middle of the day. I am trying. LOL.

  10. I always feel healthy eating brothy vegetable laden soups. And Yay for soup season. I haven’t been commenting much on your blog because I was having issues with Disques. And now I see you’re not using it any more?

    • Penny says:

      I did change away from Discus because so many people were having issues with it. I am sorry for the inconvenience it caused. I hope that this a more friendly comment venue. Thanks Lea Ann!

  11. Susan says:

    11 servings a day? Wow, that would be tough! Except if you can pack many of those servings into a soup like this. Wonderful recipe, Penny! Soup weather has definitely started here too.

    • Penny says:

      I’m not surprised that Fall weather has come to your area. Our leaves are just beginning to change. I am making another soup today.

  12. cheri says:

    Hi Penny, eleven sounds does sound like quite a bit, anyway love orzo and this soup looks delicious!

    • Penny says:

      I love orzo too Cheri. I am looking at what constitutes a serving right now and maybe 11 is not so hard to fulfill. I guess the message is to eat more fruits and vegetables whether or not you meet the recommended requirements.

  13. Barb Bobik says:

    Made the soup yesterday & it was delicious. Light yet still satisfying. Thanks for the recipe. Good talking with you the other night.

  14. Chris says:

    Eleven? Eleven per DAY? Yikes….I am not even close.

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