Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

2 tsp olive oil
1 c diced carrots
1 c diced celery
1 small onion, diced
half of a chicken breast, with skin + bone
1 cup roughly chopped spinach
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 c orzo pasta
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
8 – 10 cups chicken broth
2 lemons

Preheat oven to 350. Rub chicken breast with olive oil, season liberally with salt + pepper, place on baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes, remove, loosely cover with foil and let sit. I made a whole chicken breast. I used half for the soup and saved the other half for stuffed manicotti the next night. Turn up heat to 400. Slice one lemon and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Roast lemon slices for 20 min. Remove and set aside.

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 tsp olive oil over med. heat. Add carrot, celery and onion and saute for about 6-8 min. Add 8 cups broth, spinach, thyme, and orzo, season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil, cover partially with lid and reduce heat, let simmer for about 15 -20 min.

While soup is simmering peel skin off chicken and cut meat away from the bone. Shred chicken. Add chicken to soup along with the zest and juice of one lemon.

Stir + serve. Top soup with roasted lemon slices.

Tip: Add additional broth as needed. After soup sits for a while the pasta absorbs broth and you’ll need to thin it back out.

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