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Basil Chicken Soup with Orzo

Basil Chicken Soup with Orzo was the natural follow-up to our Whole Roasted Basil Pesto Chicken we enjoyed the night before.  This soup had all the comfort of homemade chicken soup, plus a little extra flavor happiness with fresh basil stirred in to finish.  Really delicious.

As we do each week, after we roast a whole chicken and enjoy a roast chicken dinner, we turn the carcass into homemade chicken broth.  Depending on how we happen to season the roast chicken dictates the direction we take the subsequent soup.  If we make a simple herb roasted chicken, we typically freeze the broth for use in other dishes throughout the week.  However if we make a spicy roast chicken, we’ll often make Mexican soups.  If we use lemon, garlic, and oregano you can bet a Greek Lemon Chicken Soup will be born.  Occasionally we work backwards, for instance if we know we want to make Thai Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup, we’ll season our roast chicken with ginger and soy.  The subtle layers of flavor are what we live for in our cooking.

Basil Chicken Soup with Orzo

So which recipe inspiration came first, the Chicken Soup or the Whole Roast Chicken?

Basil Chicken Soup with Orzo

Basil Chicken Soup with Orzo

Libby with Lemony Thyme
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Soup
Servings 6


  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 Tbl. olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup orzo uncooked
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups cooked chicken cubed
  • 1 can Great Northern Beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbl. fresh basil chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • fresh Parmesan cheese


  • In a Dutch oven or large stock pot over medium-low heat, sauté onion, carrot, and celery in 1 Tbl. olive oil until just tender, 10-15 minutes.
  • Add in garlic and orzo and stir for a couple minutes. Then add in the broth, simmer gently until orzo is tender, about 10 minutes. Add in chicken and beans and cook until heated through.
  • Before serving, stir in fresh chopped basil. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  • Serve in bowls. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top.