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chicken lemon orzo soup in a bowl
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5 from 9 votes

Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup Thai Style

No question that Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup is pure delicious comfort food. We've added a Thai-style twist - a splash of coconut milk and some heat - that takes it in a new direction.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Thai-Style
Servings (change as needed): 8
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion (1 medium)
  • 2 cups diced carrots, 1/2-3/4 inch (3-4 carrots)
  • 2 cups diced celery, 1/2-3/4 inch (3-4 stalks)
  • 3 teaspoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (or more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoon flour (use 4 tbsp. if you want a thicker soup with more body)
  • 8 cups chicken broth (64 ounces or 2 boxes)
  • 1 lemon (juice + zest) or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste (depends on saltiness of broth)
  • 1 cup dried orzo
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (for cooking, not dessert)
  • 3 cups cooked chicken cut into 1 inch chunks (2/3-1 rotisserie chicken is perfect)
  • 3-4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • Garnish: chopped or dried coriander or basil (Optional)


  • SAUTE VEGETABLES and MAKE BASE: Heat large soup pot to medium. Add and heat oil. Add onion, celery and carrots. Saute for 7 minutes. Add garlic and red chili flakes. Saute 30 seconds. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. 
  • ADD BROTH AND COOK ORZO: Stir in broth, lemon juice and salt. Bring to boil. Add orzo (Note 1). When mixture comes to boil again, lower heat to medium and simmer for about 8 minutes or until orzo and vegetables are tender (or still have a slight bite if you prefer).
  • FINISH SOUP: Stir in coconut milk and lemon zest. Add chicken and spinach. Stir until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasoning (salt, lemon, chili flakes). Note 2. Garnish with chopped coriander or basil if desired. 


  1. Orzo: If you plan to have leftovers and you don't like your orzo too soft, you can boil it (and store it) separately, just adding it to soup when serving. You will need to cook the soup, regardless, for about 8-10 minutes to soften the vegetables. 
  2. Thickness of soup: This soup will thicken up as it sits around or in the fridge as the orzo absorbs some of the broth. You may need to add extra broth. If, instead, the soup is too thin at the end and you prefer your soup full bodied (almost like a chowder), mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water until smooth, then added it to the simmering broth to thicken it. 
Serving: 8g | Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 1105mg | Potassium: 685mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6924IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3mg