Lemon Chicken Soup

  • Yield : About 8 cups
  • Servings : 8
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 50m
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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

  • Calories from Fat

  • Total Fat

  • Saturated Fat

  • Trans Fat

  • Cholesterol

  • Sodium

  • Carbohydrates

  • Dietary Fiber

  • Sugar

  • Protein

  • Serving Size:

    1 cup (240 ml)

Lemon chicken soup is a refreshing, simple recipe that takes less than 1 hour to prepare and cook. If you have lemons coming out of your ears and you’re ready to shoot the next person who suggests you make lemonade, try this soup with only 170 calories per 1-cup serving and 15 grams of protein. That’s 50% more protein than most protein bars plus fewer calories and no added sugar!.

For a milder flavor providing a hint of lemon, try Meyers lemons. You may have to shop a farmer’s market or specialty store to find them. Meyers lemons originated in China and are a cross between a true lemon and a Mandarine orange.


Chicken breast meat is lowest in fat and calories, but you can substitute an equivalent amount of boneless chicken thigh.

To reduce prep and cook time, use cooked chicken instead of raw. Left over rotisserie chicken works great.

To control sodium, use low sodium chicken broth with 140 mg of sodium per cup or less. You can add salt if desired. You can also substitute homemade broth.


  • Sliced Celery (2 or 3 ribs)
  • Shredded Napa or Bok Choy cabbage (2 cups)
  • Rice or other very small soup pasta can be substituted for orzo.

Resting Absorbs Broth

Orzo and other pastas will continue to absorb liquid after it’s cooked.

Lemon soup served immediately after the orzo is al dente will look like the photo below. You can barely distinguish the orzo in the soup (look at lower right).

Lemon Chicken Soup

After resting 10 to 15 minutes, the orzo will absurd broth and be clearly visible.

Lemon Chicken Soup

If you use egg noodles, Your soup should look like this after 15 minutes. You can increase broth by 1 or 2 cups to account for absorption.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Noodles

Other Recipes Using Fresh Lemons

Lemon Cookies

Lemon Sauce

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Tea Bread

Ginger Tea

Pan Fried Fish with Lemon Caper Sauce

In a hurry? Try 30 Minute Chicken Soup.


  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 lb. (450 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed or 12 oz. cooked chicken
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 (250 g) onion, diced
  • 2 to 3 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups (1440 ml) low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 oz. (112 g) noodles, orzo, other small pasta or rice
  • 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 cm) fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice or to taste
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Method of Preparation

Step 1

In a 5 to 6 qt/l pan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes and then sauté onion and carrot 3 to 4 minutes or until tender but firm. Increase heat to medium-high and add chicken. Sauté chicken until slightly browned and cooked through.

Step 2

Reduce heat to medium, and add garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring about 1 minute. If sticking occurs add a little broth.

Step 3

Stir in stock, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Stir in pasta or rice and rosemary. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 8 to 12 minutes or until noodles or rice is al dente.

Step 4

Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and parsley. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately or cover and rest 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta/rice has absorbed some of the broth.