Lemon Orzo Soup with Chicken Meatballs
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • Chicken Meatball Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. ground chicken
  • ⅔ cup white onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ cup of breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup of fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 Tbsp. of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. of minced garlic or garlic paste
  • 2 Tbsp. of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp. of oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. of sage, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Soup Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. of fresh garlic, sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 ½ cups of orzo
  • 2 cups of celery, chopped
  • 2 cups of carrots, chopped
  • Parmesan rind – about 2-3 inches
  • 48 oz of chicken broth plus 2 cups
  • Juice from 2 ½ lemons
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. of fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. of crushed, dried rosemary
  • 1.5 Tbsp. of thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. of dill, chopped
  • Optional:
  • Kale or spinach
  • Additional parmesan for topping soup
  • Extra thyme and/or basil for topping soup
  1. Steps for Meatballs:
  2. Preheat your oven to 350
  3. Chop all your onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs and then combine with egg. I like to use a small Ninja food processor for this so I can get the herbs really small and everything mixed well.
  4. Combine your ground chicken, herb mixture and bread crumbs and mix well. I use my hands for this. Just make sure you wash them thoroughly before you start.
  5. Use a melon baller to make each meatball about an inch big.
  6. Place meatballs on an oiled cookie sheet or use parchment paper and cook for 25 minutes. If you aren’t using these for the soup and instead using them for something else, I recommend cooking them for a few minutes longer.
  7. Steps for Soup:
  8. While your meatballs cook, add the 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to a Dutch oven. Once the oil is hot add the onion, shallots and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently until the onions are translucent. Cook with medium heat.
  9. Ass your celery and carrots to the pot and cook for about 8 minutes until they have started to soften. Continue to stir so you don’t burn the ingredients.
  10. Add your chicken broth to the pot and then add all your herbs. Cook on medium until it begins to boil.
  11. Once it has boiled, turn the heat to low or on simmer and add your lemon juice. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  12. While your soup is cooking, add your orzo to a separate pot and cook 8-10 minutes. Do not add this directly to your soup when it is done. Hold off and allow people to add as much as they like or none at all. If you do decide to add it them remember it will soak up the broth and you will likely need more.
  13. Add your meatballs to the soup and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  14. If you want to add any additional kale or meatballs, add it now and let it cook down.
  15. Serve warm with at least one scoop of orzo and additional thyme or basil. Add some parmesan cheese and some cracked pepper
Recipe by The Everyday Mom Life at https://www.theeverydaymomlife.com/recipe/lemon-orzo-soup-with-chicken-meatballs/