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Lemon, Orzo, and Meatball Soup

Photo: Melina Hammer; Styling: Buffy Hargett
Yield Makes about 3 qt.
Lemon, Orzo, and Meatball Soup is our hearty twist on chicken noodle soup, featuring small grains of orzo pasta and savory chicken meatballs.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons loosely packed lemon zest, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (32-oz.) containers chicken broth
  • 5 to 6 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

How to Make It

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients, 2 tsp. lemon zest, and 1/2 tsp. rosemary in a medium bowl. Shape into 30 (1-inch) meatballs (about 1 level tablespoonful each).

  2. Sauté meatballs, in 2 batches, in 1 Tbsp. hot oil per batch in a Dutch oven over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until browned. Remove using a slotted spoon.

  3. Sauté onion and next 2 ingredients in remaining 1 Tbsp. hot oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in broth, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tsp. zest and 1/2 tsp. rosemary. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add orzo. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes or until pasta is almost tender.

  4. Stir in meatballs; simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with cheese and parsley.