Make Ahead

Chicken Orzo Soup

February 10, 2014
10 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Serves 4 to 5
Author Notes

I've recently found myself gravitating to various versions of this soup. A frozen tupperware of broth, a few veggies, and some pasta is all it takes to create this simple and warming weeknight meal. —Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

What You'll Need
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced into coins
  • 3 celery ribs, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups homemade or low sodium broth (vegetable or chicken is fine)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 6 leaves Lacinato kale, stem removed and roughly chopped
  1. Start by cooking the chicken. In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add chicken breast to pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until chicken is browned on all sides and mostly cooked through, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
  2. As chicken is cooking (yes, multi-task), heat the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and white wine to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Let the wine simmer and thicken for 3 minutes. Add cooked chicken pieces to the pot.
  3. Stir in broth, water, cilantro, the bay leaf, and a good amount of salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add orzo and kale. Re-cover the pot and let the orzo cook in the soup for 8 minutes.
  5. There you have it folks: Time to dish up a homemade bowl of chicken noodle soup for the kiddos. To store, place the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen
  • HapppyBee
  • Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast
    Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast
  • Rhonda35

9 Reviews

karencooks December 22, 2015
Made this simple recipe using a rotisserie chicken. We are not fans of cilantro so I substituted celery leaves (could have also used parsley). It was delicious!!!
Brussels S. December 22, 2015
Glad you enjoyed it Karen! A rotisserie chicken is a good substitute always. I could eat the whole thing :)
Joeyman9 March 3, 2015
Thanks Karen. How's the quality of the paste in a tube?
Brussels S. March 3, 2015
I also buy the paste in a jar so that you can screw the lid back on and pop it in the fridge. Glad to see you've enjoyed the recipe!
Karen March 2, 2015
I use tomato paste quite often but I am buying it in a tube rather than a can so I don't waste any. Usually end up needing a tablespoon or two then throw the rest away. Paste in the tube you don't waste anything.
Rhonda35 August 17, 2015
Karen, when I have leftover canned tomato paste, I measure it out in one tablespoon amounts and place them on a small tray/plate lined with plastic wrap, then freeze. Once frozen, the dollops of tomato paste pop off the plastic wrap easily. I then place them in a freezer-safe container, to be kept in the freezer for the next time I need tomato paste.
Joeyman9 March 2, 2015
Had a left over half a home roasted chicken, Picked the half roaster clean and cubed the results. Sautéed an additional 1.25 lbs. of chicken breast. Used double the amount of carrots than the recipe called for. Used four cups of home made chicken stock we had on hand and some Whole Foods Veggie broth.. My wife is not a fan of cilantro, so that was omitted. Cooked the orzo separately. Soup was delicious, forgot to mention, used an entire small can of tomato paste, figured why not? Will make again, quick fix soup, with the flavor as if it simmered all day
HapppyBee March 1, 2015
This looks like the perfect chicken soup and I'll be making it tonight. Only change I'll make is to cook the chicken in the same pot, then remove it while cooking the veggies to save on cleanup. I love the addition of cilantro! Yum.
Brussels S. March 3, 2015
Hope you enjoy it, HapppyBee!