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Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo - A delicious, easy soup with bright and savory flavors!

This week – with extremely frigid winter temperatures where we live – the only thing I can think about is warm and comforting foods like this Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo!

This delicious Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo is made from a version of our homemade chicken stock recipe – but with ingredients especially tailored to this dish. And that specialized stock is really the key to giving this soup it’s distinctively light and bright flavor profile!

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo - A delicious, easy soup with bright and savory flavors!


Making the stock – with chicken, celery, leeks, onions, fresh ginger and other seasonings – it the most time-consuming part about this recipe! But don’t worry, it’s simple to make – just throw the ingredients in a stock pot, simmer uncovered for four hours, then strain.

After that, simply cook the orzo pasta right in some of the stock. Then – while constantly whisking – slowly add some beaten eggs to the hot broth. The eggs should immediately cook, forming the distinctive shreds that are a classic part of any Greek lemon soup!

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo - A Family Feast

Finally, add some cooked chicken, fresh spinach, lemon juice and lemon zest – bring to a boil – and you’re done!  So while I may not be traveling to the warm Greek Isles anytime soon, I can pretend while I’m enjoying this delicious Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo!

Recipe adapted from The New England Soup Factory Cookbook.

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Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo - A Family Feast

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 15 mins
  • Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings


For the Stock

  • 3-4 pounds chicken parts (legs, thighs, wings, backs, necks, etc)
  • 2 large celery stalks with leaves, cut into quarters
  • 1 large or two medium leeks, white only cleaned of all sand and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 pound yellow onion quartered
  • 1 whole lemon quartered
  • 1 knob of ginger (about one ounce)
  • ½ large bunch fresh flat leaf parsley including stems
  • 4 each medium scallions
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 1 gallon water

For the Soup

  • 2 quarts stock from above
  • 1 additional quart chicken stock (carton or canned)
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 pound cooked chicken (picked from stock)
  • Juice from two lemons
  • Zest from two lemons
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place all stock ingredients into a large pot, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for four hours.
  2. Strain stock and hold. You should have about 2 quarts. Separate meat from solids. Set meat aside and discard solids.
  3. In a large pot, add stock and additional quart of purchased stock for a total of three quarts. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add orzo and boil on medium for ten minutes.
  5. Use a wire whip and slowly add beaten eggs while stirring liquid so eggs form shreds in the stock. Cook for 30 seconds then add cooked chicken, lemon juice, lemon zest and fresh spinach. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.
  6. Adjust seasoning if needed and serve.

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    Leave a Comment


  1. Oh my, I ordered this soup at a Greek restaurant very recently and it did not look nearly as good as your version. A little disappointed! This is one of my favorite soups ~ so hearty!

  2. This is such a comforting dish, yet also refreshing. I love lemon with my chicken soups!

  3. What an amazing soup recipe. I love the homemade stock and the addition of lemon. This is going to be comforting and refreshing.

  4. I never thought about cooking the orzo right in the soup!

  5. YUM! This looks so good. And where did you get those soup crocks? They’re adorable!

  6. This looks very fresh and yummy. Cannot wait to try it!

  7. I was taken with your soup JUST by the picture. Very nice photo. Showed the color, all the chicken, the green to show off the yellow. It looked rich. And the recipe delivered!

  8. Your pics are beautiful and I’m certain the soup is equally delicious! Lemon is such a versatile ingredient.

  9. I am such a lemon girl so this is right up my alley. Soup is just perfect this time of year, yours is absolute perfection.

  10. I made this last night. I had everything but orzo so I subbed ditali. Delicious!

  11. my Cretan grandmother is no longer with us, so I cannot ask her if it is okay to give you her way of making Greek lemon soup: Avgolemono, but here it is:
    in a large cast iron kettle, put a stewing chicken with enough water to cover, add to the water:: 1tsp salt, 1tsp freshly ground pepper, 1 tsp paprika
    Cover and cook on low heat (simmer) until chicken is tender to touch and before it falls off the bones. do not reduce the chicken stock by more than 1/2 during the cooking,.
    Remove chicken from the stock. if you have company, serve the chicken with the soup, otherwise save the chicken for another meal, and only serve the soup. keep the chicken stock on a low heat and to it add: 1 cup of rice (soft stage) and 1 cup of Greek egg noodles, cooked al dente.
    blend 8 fresh eggs with 16 Tbs. of freshly squeezed lemon juice in a large bowl (no seeds). while stirring, the egg/lemon mixture , slowly add approx. 1/4 of the hot chicken stock. IT IS IMPORTANT FO ADD THE STOCK SLOWLY to avoid curdling the egg/lemon mixture..
    return the blended stock/egg/lemon mixture to the stock in the kettle, stir well. serve .
    one of my aunts wrote Grandma’s recipe in English for those who do not speak/read the Cretan dialect.

  12. we usually cut the chicken up into very small pieces and add it back into the soup before serving for a family meal, but not too much of the chicken. we also keep the bones, skin, et al. and use them to make a bone broth. If you like Feta cheese and Retsina wine, they go well with the soup. hope you try it and like it. josef..