My daughter used to work at Panera many years ago. When she got the job, I envisioned her chopping up carrots and celery for the soups and simmering them in the back kitchen before customers arrived at the store. She broke my dream when she told me that they receive all the soups in frozen bags, and they just defrosted them. No!
Their lemon orzo soup was one of my favorites. Spring is in the air, but the temps are still a bit chilly in Chicago, so this soup will taste like you are eating it on a warm spring day. Let’s just forget about having to still wear a sweater, shall we?
By using leftover rotisserie chicken, this soup is ready in about 15 minutes.
Lemon Orzo Soup
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 people
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup celery, sliced thin
6 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup dry orzo
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounces cooked chicken breast, chopped
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the garlic and celery and cook for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock and orzo, and cook for 9-10 minutes, or according to your package directions.
2. When the orzo is cooked, add in the rest of the ingredients: the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, dried oregano, and the chicken. Remove from heat and put a lid on for a few minutes to warm up the chicken.
3. Add chopped spinach to each bowl and ladle in the soup. I add sliced lemon for garnish.
If you are looking for more spring recipes, check out our Hands-On Know Your Gnocchi: Spring Menu on Saturday, April 16 at 11am at the Merchandise Mart.
If you don’t want to leave the comfort of your own home, our virtual classes are perfect!
On Sunday, April 24 at 11am CST, there is a Virtual Cook Along: Spring Soups Workshop where you will cook in real time with our chefs and be able to ask questions as you cook.
Lastly, if lemon is your jam, check out our Hands-On Lemon Lovers where you’ll make:
- Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Aioli and Crispy Prosciutto
- Sautéed Trout with Lemon-Caper Butter Sauce and Parsley Gremolata
- Roasted Wedge Potatoes with Preserved Lemon-Feta Vinaigrette
- Lemon Mousse with Fresh Berries
This class will be one of the last we host at our Merchandise Mart location on Saturday, April 30 at 6pm before we close that location (don't worry, Lincoln Square will remain open). Don't miss your chance to cook in this historic location of The Chopping Block!