This time of year is peak cold and flu season. Keep yourself in tip-top shape with this comforting Cold-Busting Chicken Orzo Soup!
The holidays are a magical time of the year, but with all of the family contact and shopping madness with strangers, you’re bound to get sick. I get sick maybe once a year and it’s always right after Christmas. Other than resorting to bathing in hand sanitizer and becoming a hermit crab, you can try to use food to feel better with this comforting Cold-Busting Chicken Orzo Soup!
What makes this soup special? I chose a host of simple ingredients that are poised to get you back on your feet. The cast of characters includes turmeric, chicken, lemon, whole wheat orzo, onion, garlic, and kale. According to WebMD, each cup of kale has almost 3 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fiber, tons of vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and alpha-linolenic acid. It’s also jam-packed with lutein, zeaxanthin, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc. Seriously, if you’re not on the kale bandwagon yet, you need a good talking to. This soup gets its vibrant yellow hue from none other than turmeric. 2017 was the year of turmeric, and for good reason. It’s most widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s also a powerful antioxidant — which is essential when you’re feeling under the weather. I added a good dose of lemon juice and zest to this soup to increase hydration, aid in digestion, and boost the vitamin C. If your throat is feeling a little worse for wear, the hot broth mixed with the lemon will be sure to soothe the soreness. Plus, if mom says we need chicken noodle soup when we’re sick, then by golly we’re having chicken noodle soup! This recipe just happens to give an extra boost that you won’t find in classic recipes (IMO).
What’s your go-to meal when you’re sick? I love anything warm and comforting, but I know people who are avid ice cream and popsicle addicts when they’re sick!
Still feeling peckish? Check out my Creamy Dairy-Free Roasted Tomato Basil Soup!
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium chopped yellow onion
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 7 cups chicken broth
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 cup dried orzo pasta
- 1½ tsp lemon zest
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- 5 packed cups fresh kale, roughly chopped (I used dinosaur/Tuscan/lacinato kale)
- Heat olive oil in a large enameled dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 more minute, until fragrant.
- Pour in chicken broth, oregano, and turmeric, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add shredded chicken breasts to the pot and bring to a simmer.
- Add orzo, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer stirring occasionally, about 8 - 10 minutes until the orzo is al dente.
- Add lemon juice, lemon zest and kale, and heat through. Serve warm. As soup rests the pasta will absorb the broth so you can as a little more broth as desired if you're eating leftovers.