CEiMB: Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

Remember how I said last week was horrific? Well, this week has been the complete opposite. It’s Spring Break here, and Ryan also took the week off work so we’ve had a great week together. Our original plan for the week included a few days in a tent, but lingering below-freezing temperatures at night followed by several days of rain made camping look less than ideal. So we scrapped our plans and decided to have a stay-cation. It’s amazing how much fun just having time off can be, even if it’s not action-packed or full of adventure. Our apartment is really reaping the reward of our time off as we spent most of the weekend spring cleaning and have taken on several arts and crafts type projects since. Despite the dining room being the one getting the major overhaul, the kitchen is the room that has been seeing the most use. For me, the lovely part of all this free time isn’t the beautification projects, it’s the time to tinker in the kitchen. If you had a week off at home, what would you do?

It’s hard to believe we had temperatures in the mid 70s this past weekend since it’s been a rainy mess ever since. I, unlike most people, love the rain. The chill in the air, the sound of it splashing to the ground, the grayness of it… I love it all. I especially love the thunder and lightning. You can blame my dad for that; when I was young, we used to sit out on the front porch and applaud the lightning. While I don’t partake in that tradition anymore, I do enjoy watching and listening to the rain while curled up on the sofa with all my boys and a bowl of soup. Today was just such a day, which couldn’t have been a better time to make this week’s CEiMB recipe chosen by Grandma’s Kitchen Table.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo sounds like everything I could ask for in a recipe – lemon and pasta. I have yet to meet anything lemon that I didn’t love, and pasta is… well, everyone loves pasta, right? I sure do. Given the title, I was more than a little enthused about this week’s choice. Then I read the ingredients. Eggs? Eggs and lemon?? Eggs in my chicken soup? The idea of eggs in a chicken soup with lemon just scared me. Aside from egg drop soup at Chinese restaurants, I’ve never had egg in my soup before, and I wasn’t sure it would be something that turned out well. I hesitated a bit about making this one, but in the end, I went with it and trusted Ellie. Right up until the last minute though, I was contemplating making the recipe as written minus the eggs. Once I stirred them in, there was no going back. When it was ready, I nervously took the first taste test. Guess what. It was really good! I love the creaminess the eggs gave, and the splash of lemon was perfect. I added a generous amount of salt and pepper for flavor, but I still think it could have benefited from a little something else for an extra boost. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to make this again as-is though, and I am considering it to be my go-to recipe next time I’m craving chicken soup.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 cup orzo
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
9 ounces cooked chicken breast strip, cut into small chunks

Heat oil in soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme, and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups of the broth, and bring to a boil. Add the orzo, and let simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Turn the heat down to low to keep the soup hot but not boiling.

Warm the remaining 1 cup broth in the microwave until it is hot but not boiling. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs. Then gradually add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture, whisking all the while. Add the mixture to the soup, stirring well until the soup is thickened. Do not let the soup come to a boil. Add the cooked chicken to the soup. Once the chicken is heated through, 1-2 minutes, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Source: Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”, p. 86
4 servings


March 11, 2010. recipes.


  1. Elina replied:

    I made a bunch of modifications to my soup but liked it overall. I added a bit of cayenne pepper – I think that helped with the flavor. PS – the egg scared me too but it was brilliant! :)

  2. applec replied:

    I loved the addition of eggs for a thicker, creamier texture. Perfect!

  3. Peggy replied:

    I would love some time off. Our weather here is just off and on from bad to good to worse lately. This soup looks tasty, but I didn’t have time to make it this week.

  4. chayacomfycook replied:

    Yours look great, nice and creamy and full of good stuff.

  5. teaandscones replied:

    It was good, wasn’t it. Loved it. Definitel a keeper.

  6. Lauryn replied:

    sounds like you had a great week off!!! that soup looks incredible!

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