Chicken-Vegetable Soup with Orzo

This homey soup shows just how quickly you can make chicken broth in the microwave. It also shows off the microwave's fabulous way with vegetables; they not only keep more color but also retain more vitamins.


6 servings (serving size: 1 cup soup and 1 tablespoon cheese)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 277
Caloriesfromfat 24 %
Fat 7.5 g
Satfat 2.6 g
Monofat 2.2 g
Polyfat 1.5 g
Protein 36.9 g
Carbohydrate 14.5 g
Fiber 3 g
Cholesterol 121 mg
Iron 2.8 mg
Sodium 658 mg
Calcium 134 mg


5 cups water
2 pounds chicken drumsticks, skinned
2 cups small broccoli florets
2 cups presliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups sliced carrot
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Combine water and chicken in a 3-quart casserole. Cover with lid; microwave at HIGH 30 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring after 15 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid. Cool chicken slightly. Remove chicken from bones, and discard bones. Shred chicken with 2 forks to measure 2 1/2 cups.

Combine broccoli and next 4 ingredients (broccoli through basil) in casserole. Cover; microwave at HIGH 8 minutes or until tender, stirring after 4 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid, chicken, pasta, salt, and pepper. Cover; microwave at HIGH 6 minutes or until pasta is tender. Ladle soup into 6 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Barbara Kafka,

Cooking Light

March 2001