Chicken and Orzo Soup
As we enter into the most wonderful time of the year, many of us are feeling the burnout of the most stressful time of the year as well. We are all coming out of our covid/quarantine fog and want to live our best lives, but I am finding that so many of the people I talk to are dealing with a lot of stress and content overload. My mission is to bring you content that inspires you… and sometimes you need to be inspired to take a break! Sometimes we all need a minute to relax and chicken and orzo soup is definitely my kind of comfort food.
This recipe is SO easy, it’s great to make ahead, and even a great one to throw in the slow-cooker and run your errands knowing that you have a great meal waiting for you at home. I’m a fan of the slow-cooker more than I ever have been in my life. Work, kids, holidays, life….slow-cooker it up!
Tips for Chicken and Orzo Soup
- Make sure not to overcook the chicken by checking on it at the 2 1/2 hour mark. Cooking times will vary based on the thickness of the chicken. Once it’s cooked through it can be shredded.
- After the pasta cooks and the chicken is added back into the soup, allow the chicken to absorb the flavors a bit before serving. I love this soup the day after it’s made too because the flavors marry and it tastes even better.
- You can make this your own and add in additional veggies, rice instead of pasta (pre-cooked), or anything you find comforting.
- The toppings are a MUST! If you have never put fresh lemon juice in your chicken noodle soup, be prepared for your life to change. So many chefs that I know do this and when I tried it I was changed forever. The parsley adds such a nice freshness, and the parmesan adds a cheesy/nutty flavor that rounds everything out.
Chicken and Orzo Soup
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon herb de Provence or Italian herb blend
- 2 large or three small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken broth or bone broth
- 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- Salt and pepper
- Toppings: Fresh lemon juice, freshly chopped parsley
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, carrots, and celery with a sprinkle of salt (about 1 teaspoon) and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and dried herbs and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant, being careful not to brown the garlic.
- Pour the mixture into the slow cooker.
- Place the chicken on top of the veggies and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
- Pour in the broth and add in the bay leaves.
- Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 – 3 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place it in a separate bowl.
- Stir the orzo into the slow cooker mixture and cook for about 20 minutes, or until al dente. This is also a good time to taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- While the pasta cooks, use two forks to shred the chicken, then cover the chicken with aluminum foil.
- When the orzo is done, remove the bay leaves and place the chicken back into the soup.
- Allow the chicken to sit in the soup for at least 5 more minutes or so to soak up more flavor now that it’s shredded. Taste again to check seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot! Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle of fresh parmesan and top it with freshly chopped parsley to each serving. These toppings are a MUST!