I don’t know about where you live, but here in Alabama, it’s just now starting to turn cold. After months of warm temperatures, sunshine, and no rain (in fact the longest drought the state has experienced since the 1920s), this weekend began to feel like winter. It rained for 3 days straight, which is good for the land, the wildlife, and for putting out the wildfires burning up thousands of acres. But even much-needed rain is still gloomy rain. So this rainy weekend, with temperatures staying below 60 for the first time since last winter, it made me start to crave some hot soup!
I first made this soup last year, and oh man it immediately became one of my favorites! In fact we made enough to eat leftovers for nearly a week, and we never tired of it. Chicken soup is a classic winter meal, but I like that this Orzo Chicken Soup is not just broth with a few bits of chicken and noodles…it’s chocked full of chicken, orzo, and veggies so you get some “goody” in every spoonful. I also love the extra flavor from the pesto, but the soup is crazy good and flavorful even if you opt to leave it out.
As a bonus, this soup is also pretty healthy, at only 330 calories per serving! And each serving actually fills you up! I got the recipe from my eMeals Low Calorie Meal Plan. Last year, when I ate this soup for both lunch and dinner for nearly a week straight, I actually dropped a couple pounds. So that’s some added incentive to try this totally delicious recipe!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 (32-oz) cartons fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1⁄2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup uncooked whole-wheat orzo
- 3 cups shredded deli rotisserie chicken
- Juice of 2 large lemons
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 6 Tbsp jarred basil pesto (optional)
- Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Sauté carrots, garlic, celery and onion in hot oil 5 minutes.
- Add broth, oregano and pepper; bring to a boil. Add orzo; cook, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley.
- (Optional) Top each serving with 1 Tbsp pesto.