Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup

Lemony Chicken Orzo soup

Make this delicious lemony chicken orzo soup with dehydrated vegetables. It's a family favorite!

If you prefer, you can use the zest of fresh lemons or a dash of lemon from your dehydrated lemon stock!

And yes, the sin of all sins, I WAS sitting in front of the computer eating it... and NOT at the dining table! 

But no matter where you eat this fantastic chicken soup, it's always refreshing and delicious, and it's that touch of lemon that elevates it from ordinary chicken soup to extraordinary lemon chicken soup!

If you're in the mood for fresh bread, check out this bread recipe. The results even made me look like a professional baker! LOL, I'm sure you'll do a good job, too.

Substitute White Rice for Orzo

NOTE: If you're out of orzo, you can very easily substitute white rice for the orzo, though the rice will need about 5 to 10 minutes more to cook through. I like Orzo, though, because of the way the orzo plumps up so big!

See more about the difference between orzo and rice at the bottom of this post, thanks.

Ingredients for Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup:

  • 1 slice dehydrated elephant garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated carrots, crumbled into small pieces
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 lb. pre-cooked dehydrated chicken or leftover chicken from last night's dinner! You can use canned chicken in water too—works great!
  • Italian (dried) herbs to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • handful fresh chopped parsley
  • salt* and pepper to taste
  • lemon juice, or dehydrated lemon, or lemon zest

How to Make Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup:

  1. Use clean cold water or freshly boiled water to rehydrate the dehydrated items above.
  2. When they are sufficiently plump, add the olive oil to a heavy pan on medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and carrots, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken stock, then add the garlic—crumbled finely, and the remaining ingredients—bring to a boil and cook an additional eight minutes.
  5. At the end of cooking, add a good squirt of lemon juice (I choose to use the ReaLemon brand). We just need to detect a taste of lemon in the soup, and not overwhelm it with lemon!

*IF you need to add salt, do so, BUT be careful NOT to over-salt as the bouillon has salt in it.

Check out how to dehydrate garlic by reading How To Dehydrate Garlic!

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What is Orzo?

a pile of orzoORZO: looks yellow and is 'fatter'
a pile of riceRICE by comparison: is whiter, and looks 'slimmer'

Orzo is a type of pasta that is shaped like a large grain of rice.

Some key facts about Orzo:

  • Orzo comes from the Italian word for "barley" - it resembles a large barley grain.
  • It is made from semolina flour or durum wheat and sometimes eggs.
  • Orzo is commonly grown in Italy, Turkey, Greece, and other Mediterranean countries.
  • The most common variety is about 3mm in diameter, though orzo can range from 2-5mm in size.
  • Orzo has a chewy, nutty flavor and aroma similar to rice or barley.
  • It works well in soups, salads, casseroles, stir-fries, and as a side dish.

To cook Orzo:

  • Bring lightly salted water to a boil and add the orzo. Cook for 7-9 minutes until al dente.
  • Drain and rinse in a colander. From there it can be added to dishes or served on its own with oil or sauce.
  • For 1 cup dry orzo use 4 cups water or broth and salt to taste. Adjust liquid as needed.
  • For more flavor, cook orzo in broth, or tomato sauce, or infuse it with herbs.

Orzo is a versatile Mediterranean wheat pasta shaped like rice that can be prepared similarly to rice or pasta in a variety of dishes. Cook it in boiling salted water until tender.

Why Orzo Cooks Faster than Rice...

'The reason why orzo cooks faster than rice is because orzo is actually a type of pasta, while rice is its own separate grain.

Some key differences that cause the cooking time variance:

  • Pasta is made from wheat flour while rice is made from rice grains.
  • The wheat flour in pasta contains gluten, which gives it a chewy texture. Rice does not contain gluten.
  • Pasta is made with semolina or durum wheat flour which is coarser than all-purpose flour. This coarser flour helps pasta retain its shape better.
  • Rice has higher starch content which requires more time to gelatinize and soften during cooking.
  • Pasta is dried during production which removes more moisture allowing it to cook more quickly. Rice still contains its original moisture.
  • The shapes used for pasta like orzo allow it to cook evenly and quickly. Rice grains are denser and take longer for water to penetrate fully.

Wrap up: Orzo cooks faster than rice because it is made from wheat flour as a type of pasta, giving it properties like high gluten content, coarser flour, and low moisture that enable faster cooking times compared to rice. The composition and production process make pasta quicker to cook than rice.

More Good Stuff to Read!

Susan Gast, owner of Easy Food Dehydrating plus ePubTechReviews.com, and SusanGast.com

Susan Gast began Easy Food Dehydrating in December 2010.

Read Susan's story of what sparked her interest in all things related to "food dehydrating."

She is featured on the Mother Earth News blog, and on Solo Build It! (SBI!) who hosts this site. Read her first SBI! interview and her second SBI! interview.

Since 1980, Susan's involvement in publishing - in one form or another - led her to create ePubTechReviews which reviews a variety of products related to the publishing industry - if you're at all interested in AI and self-publishing. The website is also hosted by Solo Build It!

Susan also runs her namesake site SusanGast.com on Solo Build It! that showcases the books she has written since 2012.

Do you want to send Susan a quick message? Visit her contact page here. She'd love to hear from you!