Comfort (food) in the Storm

Lindsay Kelliher shared her recipe for Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. “I tried and loved Progresso’s Traditional Chicken and Orzo with Lemon soup in a can. I immediately appreciated the lemony, savory, fulfilling comfort meal that wasn’t heavy enough to make me feel guilty,” Lindsay said.

To avoid paying nearly $3 per can and to cut out the preservatives, Lindsay decided to try her hand at recreating it in a larger batch from scratch. She found a winner on her first try and shared the recipe with eSS&SC. “Although I do enjoy soups year-round, there is something about the brightness of the lemon flavor that helps bring a little bit of joy to the dark winter days,” said Lindsay. “While it’s a fairly simple recipe and easy to batch cook, the orzo tends to take on more and more of the broth the longer it sits. It’s best when devoured in a day or two.”


  • 1 large chicken
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 celery ribs, diced (leaves reserved)
  • 10 cups chicken broth (homemade is best!)
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, de-stemmed
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, de-stemmed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup orzo
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 2 cups savoy cabbage, chopped

In a preheated 375-degree oven, roast the chicken, salted and peppered, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. When cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bones and refrigerate. Place bones and skin in a pot, and just barely cover with water. Simmer a couple hours, then strain.

Warm the olive oil in a large stock pot and saute onions until translucent. Add carrots and garlic to pot. Once softened slightly, add in herbs and lemon zest. Next, the celery, reserving the leaves. Add chicken broth and bring to a brisk simmer. Add orzo to the pot, along with the celery leaves, kale, and cabbage. Cook 7-9 minutes or until the orzo is al dente and the vegetables are tender but retain their fresh color. Turn heat to lowest setting; add lemon juice. Just before serving, shred roast chicken and add to the stock pot to warm through.

Serves 6 – 8.

Even more comforting recipes submitted by our readers:

French Onion Soup


Beef and Bean Chili