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Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup with Coriander & Dill, a healthy flavorful soup that can be made with leftover chicken ( or chicken breast) and chicken stock. Bright and springy, this soup is tangy and delicious!
This recipe for Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup with fresh dill is inspired by spring. It’s still cold out but the bright and zesty flavors of this soup, sing of what’s to come.
Brothy, flavorful and nourishing and this soup is totally addicting! It’s the combination of coriander and dill that, to me, makes this recipe shine.
Give it a try and see what you think. The best part is it makes good use of the leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken from last night’s dinner.
Brian and I devoured a whole roasted chicken last night. We did a good job of picking through most of it, but there was still a little meat on the bones. I always feel wasteful throwing out the carcass and so it has become a tradition to make soup out of the remains, boiling down the leftover bird into a rich flavorful stock.
This way we get two meals out of one chicken.
As you can see here, there is not a whole lot of chicken left. But surprisingly there is enough for a good pot of soup. Just be sure you have at least 1-2 cups of meat. It will surprise you…. how much more you get.
The amazing flavor comes from simmering the leftover chicken and bones in water. After a couple of hours, this turns into the most aromatic flavorful broth. I would be fine, just drinking this.
Also know that you can make this using chicken breast and store-bought chicken stock, for a faster version! ( see the recipe notes!)
Here, the addition of toasted coriander seeds, gives the soup depth and interest.
Crush the toasted seeds with a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can place them in a ziplock back on the counter and roll a rolling pin over them. They don’t need to be super fine, just coarsely crushed.
You will need 1/2 cup of fresh Lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon of lemon zest. This ends up being about 2-3 med-sized lemons. Before you cut your lemons, roll them firmly on the counter applying pressure with your palm, softening them. This will allow you to extract more juice.
Meyer Lemons are especially nice here. 😉
Chicken Soup versions around the Globe!
- In France, typical seasonings include bay leaves, fresh thyme, dry white wine and garlic.
- In Germany homemade chicken soup consists of chicken broth with dumplings or spaetzle added to it.
- In Greece, chicken soup is thickened with a mixture of eggs and lemon and is called Avgolemono.
- China has its version with the addition of ginger, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil.
- In Columbia, they have a chicken soup called Ajiaco. Along with the chicken, Ajiaco typically includes corn and potatoes, garnished with avocado and a dollop of cream. Doesn’t that sound good?
- Chicken soup is a traditional dish in the Jewish kitchen. There are several versions but one version is prepared with herbs like parsley, dill or thyme and served with matzah balls.
- Samgyetang is a Korean chicken soup with Korean ginseng, dried jujube fruits, garlic, ginger, rice and sometimes other medicinal herbs.
- In Mexico, Sopa de Lima is flavored with fresh lime, Mexican oregano and fresh cilantro.
- The Polish version of chicken soup is served with fine noodles and sometimes ground almonds in the broth.
- Scotland has a popular version called cock-a-leekie, flavored with… you got it, leeks. 🙂
More Chicken Soup Recipes you may enjoy
- Feel Better Chicken Soup
- Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)
- Kale, Chickpea and Chicken Soup with Rosemary Croutons
- Moroccan Chicken Lentil Soup with Saffron and Preserved Lemon
- Instant Pot Chicken Artichoke Soup with Wild Rice
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken and White Bean Soup
- Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
- Paleo Chicken & Wonton Soup with Bok Choy
- Mexican Pozole Verde
- Instant Pot Chicken Pozole
Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup with Dill
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 40
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6-8 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Northwest
Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup with Dill- a simple easy recipe that can be made with leftover chicken. Healthy, zesty and flavorful!
- 1 left-over roasted chicken with at least 1-2 cups meat left on it. ( Or sub 8–12 ounces chicken breast and 8 cups chicken stock -see notes)
- 10 cups water
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 tsp salt, more to taste
- 1 extra large onion or leek, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1–2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tsp toasted coriander seeds ( or ground is fine)
- 1/4–1/2 cup fresh lemon juice ( from 2 lemons) and zest from 1-2 lemons (1 tablespoon) Meyer lemons are nice.
- 1 cup dry orzo ( If you want thicker soup you could add 1/2 – 1 cup more orzo. Basically, if you are serving all the soup right away, use more orzo. If you are saving some soup for the next day, the orzo will quadruple in size leaving you with no broth. Up to you.)
- 1/4 cup chopped dill, more for garnish
- Garnish: Dollop Sour Cream (optional) and sprig of dill
- Pour 10 cups water over chicken carcass w/ 2 bay leaves and 2 tsp salt and simmer covered for 1 hour. (You could do this ahead and store in the fridge over night.) See notes if using chicken breasts and stock.
- Strain over a large bowl, reserving stock and meat. Let cool. With your fingers, separate meat from the bones, discarding the bones, and breaking up the meat into smaller bite size pieces. You should have 1-2 cups of chicken meat left. With your fingers, double and triple check for small bones.
- In a heavy bottom pot, sauté onion in oil, over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, celery and carrots. Once celery is tender add in the chicken stock and the chicken meat. Toast your Coriander seeds and crush them and add them to the soup along with lemon zest. Bring to a simmer.
- Add Orzo and let simmer uncovered stirring occasionally for about 10-15 minutes. At this point soup will still seem pretty brothy, but it will thicken up. Once the orzo is cooked through, add a 1/4 C chopped fresh dill and juice from one lemon. Taste and add more salt and lemon to taste. You want to taste the lemon! Serve in a bowls with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill.
If you want thicker soup you could add ½ cup – 1 cup more orzo. Basically, if you are serving all the soup right away, use more orzo. If you are saving some soup for the next day, the orzo will quadruple in size leaving you with no broth. Up to you. 😉 You can always, cook the sorzo separately, keep it separate until serving.
If making soup with chicken breast and chicken stock:
In a heavy bottom pot, over medium heat, sauté onion in oil until tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, celery and carrots and continue sautéing 3- 4 more minutes. Add 8 cups chicken stock, the breasts (cut in half) 2 bay leaves, and bring to a simmer, simmering gently, covered until chicken is cooked through and pulls apart easily with two forks, about 20-30 minutes. In the mean time, toast the Coriander seeds and crush them and add them to the soup along with lemon zest. Add orzo and let simmer uncovered stirring occasionally for about 10 more minutes or until orzo is done. Season with salt and pepper. At this point soup will still seem pretty brothy, but it will thicken up (see notes) Once the orzo is cooked through, add a 1/4 C chopped fresh dill and juice from one lemon. Taste and add more salt and lemon to taste. You want this lemony! Serve in a bowls with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 198
- Sugar: 1.1 g
- Sodium: 1631.3 mg
- Fat: 8.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 13.5 g
- Fiber: 1.5 g
- Protein: 16.5 g
- Cholesterol: 99.1 mg
Keywords: chicken orzo soup, chicken orzo soup recipe, lemon chicken soup, chicken soup with orzo, lemon chicken soup with orzo, orzo chicken soup, lemon orzo soup, chicken soup recipes with orzo
Can you make this in a crockpot?
Hi Patricia- I have not personally tried this in a crockpot and sorry I’m not an expert when it comes to crockpots. Has anyone else tried this or know if this would work? I worry about the orzo getting overcooked and mushy. Let me know if you try it!
Good. A little fussy, but worth it. Coriander is subtle. Don’t skimp on the lemon.
Another great recipe. This one had more flavor than I had anticipated. The delicious lemon really comes through and is subtly reinforced by the coriander. And this soup really does get quite thick if it is left to stand a bit or served the next day. I simply added some water, a bit more dill and adjusted the salt, and it was great. I love that chicken noodle soup can be so refreshing and not heavy at all. Next time I want to try it with the added egg as per previous comment.
Glad you liked this one Mert!
I made this vegan by using vegetable broth and soy curls instead of chicken. It was quick, easy and delicious!
Great idea! Soy curls to the rescue!
I made the chicken version for my sister who was very pleased!
A two in one!
Great idea! Soy curls to the rescue!
I made the chicken version for my sister who was very pleased!
A two in one!
I have loved this recipe for a few years but remember an older version with egg tempered in. I winged it last time, but — by any chance — do you have this version available still? Would it ever be possible to send it to me? Thank you, and your recipes are wonderful!
Hi Jenn, yes I took the egg out of the recipe for simplicity and now lost that old recipe. What I would do is this: Whisk together 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon lemon juice until smooth. Ladle about 3/4 cup of the hot broth into the egg-and-lemon mixture, then whisk to combine.
Add the egg mixture back to the simmering soup and stir just until the soup becomes opaque and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Hope this helps!
Thank you so much! I winged it a while back, and it came out delicious as always, but now a lot of time passes and I wasn’t sure I remembered! Thank you again!
You are so welcome!
I added Rosemary to the soup and I thickened it with the 2 egg and 1/2 cup lemon juice mixture. I also added some lemon zest to the soup itself since it could use more lemon. I also added some parsley and dill while cooking. And, I made it with 4 chicken thighs – and the soup was absolutely delicious and will make it again. Served with roasted garlic cauliflower and string beans – and warm baguette. Thanks for this great recipe!
Thanks, Im glad you tried the egg- I like this too!
Delicious! I will definitely make this again.
You found an oldie but goodie! Glad you enjoyed it!
Hi – i got hooked on your blog and am cooking tons of your recipes and love them. Just a side note – no Polish cook would ever add ground almonds to their chicken soup. Not ever. There would always be carrots, leeks, celeriac and parsnips though, and onion (as for the onion most commonly charred and slightly burned over open flame before putting in the pot of water and chicken/chicken bones). Served with dill or parsley and homemade noodles or store-bough small pasta. Yum!
Lovely recipe. There is nothing I know that warms you more than a big bowl of warm soup. Here’s one you might like to try.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
Oh yum, this sounds and looks so delicious, thanks.You are welcome to join in my food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here all bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.
I miss my mom if I see recipes like this…Maybe I should cook and bring her some. Thanks for sharing.
Love your photos. Soup sounds delicious. Wish I had a bowl right now 🙂 Thanks for sharing!