Soupy lemon chicken and orzo with spinach and parmesan

A bowl of comfort that's ready in 15 minutes.
A bowl of comfort that's ready in 15 minutes. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Difficulty
Easy

Dinner in 15 minutes. Some days that is all we can muster, and this is great to circumvent the Uber Eats call out, while making yourself something that is simultaneously nourishing and comforting.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, white part only, halved lengthways and finely sliced

1 celery stalk, trimmed, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

about 1 cup orzo

2½ cups chicken stock (you may need more depending on how soupy you like it and how quickly it evaporates)

1½ cups shredded barbecue chicken

juice of ½ a lemon

1 cup baby spinach leaves

¼ cup grated parmesan (or to taste)

Method

1. Add the olive oil to a large frying pan and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the leek and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the orzo and chicken stock and cook for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the chicken and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the orzo is al dente and the chicken has warmed through. At this point you may like to add a little more stock depending on how soupy you like it. How much the stock evaporates can depend on the size of the orzo you have used, and also how rapidly it absorbs during cooking. Keep a casual eye on it and add more stock until the liquid is to your liking.

3. Turn off the heat. Add the lemon zest and juice and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the spinach and grated parmesan and scoop quickly into bowls. This is at its very best when the spinach is only just warmed and the soupy orzo is still nice and hot.

If you like this recipe, try my pesto chicken, lemon and pasta soup.