Spontaneous Dinner

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Kale

6 servings


40 minutes

total time


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon dried oregano and/or thyme, divided

1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided

¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

4 cups unsalted chicken broth

⅔ cup orzo pasta, preferably whole-wheat

4 cups chopped kale

1 lemon, zested and juiced


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each oregano (and/or thyme), salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onions, carrots and celery to the pan. Cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaf and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano (and/or thyme). Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.

Add broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add orzo. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add kale and the chicken, along with any accumulated juices. Continue cooking until the orzo is tender and the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes more.

Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.


Serving Size



245 kcal

Total Fat

7 g

Saturated Fat

1 g

Unsaturated Fat

0 g

Trans Fat



42 mg


639 mg

Total Carbohydrate

24 g

Dietary Fiber

5 g

Total Sugars

5 g


21 g

6 servings


40 minutes

total time
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