It’s another cold, snowy, icy day in New York. Do I sound like a broken record? Yeah, I thought so.
Today is one of those days where it’d be nice to curl up on the couch with a bowl of soup and forget about the frightful weather and slippery sidewalks. But, today, I’m thankful to be getting up and going to work. Almost exactly a year ago, my company laid off about 6% of staff. Yesterday, we watched management let another 500 people go. So, while staying in with this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup sounds mighty good, going to work sounds a little bit better. Plus, I finished the rest of the Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup last night.
On Monday I briefly mentioned how much junk we’ve been eating lately. It seems like since we moved in together in November, the food just keeps coming and the gym just keeps waiting.
We’ve had a lot of fun spending all of our free time together turning our new apartment into a home to share. But part of that included lots of excitement about having our own kitchen, and I cooked a lot. A lot of unhealthy, but very tasty food. And we’d almost always finish it all–no matter if it was intended to be a recipe for four.
Then throw all the holidays into the mix, and let’s just say my waistline is feeling it just a tiny bit. How I’ve managed not to gain more than a few pounds is beyond me, but I’d like to reign it in before my pants don’t fit anymore!
This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup was the perfect way to kick off my attempts at cooking lighter, more healthful meals. It’s so flavorful, but it doesn’t have those excess calories that many flavor-rich foods do. Despite being low-calorie, thanks to the chicken, the orzo, and the spinach, this soup will definitely fill you up.
They always say an easy way to add flavor without the calories is to work with high-flavor, low-calorie ingredients like lemon, vinegar, and pepper (among others). I attribute this soup’s flavor to cooking the chicken in the broth (rather than adding it at the end) and the lemon. The lemon adds a bit of complexity and brightness to the broth that separates it from your average chicken noodle soup.
I hope you’ll give this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup a try if you’re looking for a light, but satisfying lunch or dinner!
This healthy Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is the ideal light meal. With chicken, orzo, & spinach it has plenty of staying power--without the excess calories.
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 pound chicken breast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup orzo
- 4 ounces of spinach (about two large handfuls)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- In a large pot, melt olive oil and butter over medium heat. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and brown for 2 minutes on each side. Add the onion and garlic and cook 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
- Add chicken stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 12 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate to cool. Shred the chicken once it is cool enough to handle.
- Bring the broth back up to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for approximately 8 minutes, until al dente.
- Remove from heat and stir in spinach, lemon, and shredded chicken. Serve immediately.