Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

There are many cultures in which an egg drop soup is made. Chinese cuisine offers a version, also known as egg flower soup, the Greeks make theirs with avgolemono (a mixture of eggs and lemon used to thicken soups and sauces), and stracciatella, the Italian egg drop soup from Rome. As I had a bowl of lemons on the counter, I was intrigued with the idea of a lemon and egg soup. This delightfully tangy, beautifully colored soup is rich in protein and my suggestion for a satisfying summer soup.



  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 lemons (1/2 cup lemon juice)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1-2 cups cooked orzo pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • lemon pepper, a few grinds
  • 1-2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • Fresh basil and lemon zest for garnish
  1. In a medium-size saucepan, heat the broth and water.
  2. Using a heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy, then add half of the lemon juice.
  3. In order to keep the eggs from scrambling, you’ll need to temper the hot broth into the eggs. Take 1½ cups of hot broth and slowly pour into lemon-egg mixture, continually stirring. Pour mixture back into soup, mixing well.
  4. Add the orzo and season with salt and lemon pepper. At this time, I add (and suggest) the remaining lemon juice. If the soup is lemony enough for you, add as much or as little as you wish.
  5. Stir in the chicken and parsley.
  6. To serve, ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh basil and lemon zest.

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