Cold-Fighting Chicken Soup with Kale and Orzo

4.55 from 11 votes
1 hour
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Cold-Fighting Chicken Soup with Kale and Orzo is good for what ails ya!  It may not cure a common cold but with a touch of turmeric, lots of garlic, the brightness of lemon and some heat from crushed red pepper flakes, you’ll have a fighting chance against one!

“Fantastic soup! It may not be medicinal, but it tastes like it’ll cure you!”

Photo of two bowls of Cold-Fighting Chicken Soup with Kale and Orzo with bread scattered around the bowls.

First, to be clear, I’m not making any medical claims here!  However, having just gotten over a whopper of a cold and practically living on this soup, I am making a full and total claim that this soup is delicious, made me feel better like a warm hug and was just the punch my dulled tastebuds needed.

It’s also super easy to make because it cooks up in one pot!

How to make Cold-Fighting Chicken Soup with Kale and Orzo:

  • Combine onion, celery and carrot in a Dutch oven or other large soup pot and cook that in olive oil until the veggies are nice and tender.
  • Add the garlic then chicken broth.  If you have some homemade chicken broth/stock on hand, by all means, use it!  Otherwise, a good, purchased broth such as Swanson Natural Goodness works well.
Photo of the whole pot of Cold-Fighting Chicken Soup with Kale and Orzo in white Dutch oven on white background with green striped towel.
  • Bring that to a boil and add four boneless skinless chicken breast halves that you’ve cut in half widthwise for eight large chunks.
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through.
  • Transfer it to a plate to let cool to the touch.
  • Meanwhile, toss in a bunch of coarsely chopped kale and whole-wheat orzo.  I like to use whole-wheat orzo in soups because the orzo keeps its texture.  And, you’ve got a cold (or flu) and you need all the goodness you can get!
  • Let the kale and orzo simmer away until the orzo is tender.
Photo of the pot of Cold-Fighting Chicken Soup with Kale and Orzo in white Dutch oven with soup ladle.
  • Shred the chicken and add it back into the soup.
  • Add turmeric, lemon juice, some crushed red pepper flakes, parsley…
Photo of two bowls of Cold-Fighting Chicken Soup with Kale and Orzo with bread scattered around.

And mmwaaahhhhh!  Some bread and with Cold-Fighting Chicken Soup with Kale and Orzo, you’ve got a bowl of goodness that your tastebuds will thank you for!

Close-up photo of a serving of Cold-Fighting Chicken Soup with Kale and Orzo in white bowls with spoon.

For more great, healthy soup and stew recipes, try my:

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Cold-Fighting Chicken, Kale and Orzo Soup - Overhead close-up shot of soup in white Dutch oven on white background with green striped towel

Cold-Fighting Chicken Soup with Kale and Orzo

4.55 from 11 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Cold-Fighting Chicken Soup with Kale and Orzo is good for what ails ya! It may not cure a common cold but with a touch of turmeric, lots of garlic, the brightness of lemon and some heat from crushed red pepper flakes, you’ll have a fighting chance against one!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 220 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion - finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery - finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot - chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves - approximately 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo
  • 1 large bunch kale - stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large lemon - juiced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 1/4 chopped fresh parsley

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 4-5 minutes or until beginning to soften.
  • Add the celery and carrot. Continue cooking another 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.
  • Add the garlic and cook 10 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  • Cut the chicken breasts in half widthwise and place them in the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool to the touch.
  • Add the orzo and kale to the pot. Simmer over medium-low heat until orzo is cooked through.
  • Shred the chicken and add it back to the pot. Add remaining ingredients.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.  Cool and refrigerate until needed.  Reheat on the stovetop.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Place in airtight containers in quantity desired.  Thaw in the refrigerator or in the microwave.  Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 967mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3274IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.55 from 11 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this with the Mediterranean Chopped salad for a soup and salad lunch. Left out the chicken but was absolutely great for a cold day. I even had enough to freeze for another day. Yum!

  2. 5 stars
    Fantastic soup. May not be medicinal, but tastes like it’ll cure you! Used regular orzo, added some fresh rosemary and more of the carrots and celery.

  3. We had this lovely chicken soup last night, Carol, and loved it! While we did not have colds, we were feeling kind of poorly. The combination of turmeric, lemon, and chile flakes was perfect, and I love the nutritional boost of the kale!