I know, I know…soup often isn’t top of mind as we head into the warmer Spring and Summer months but this soup is so refreshing because of the fresh lemon that it really works all year long. The original Bon Appétit recipe doesn’t call for the addition of Spring peas but I think they brighten up the dish even more. I also made a few other small tweaks, so my adapted version is below:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, washed well and sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
1 celery stalk, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs
8-10 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 cup orzo
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
8-12 oz fresh spring peas (shelled) or frozen peas
Lemon halves (for serving)
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add leek and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 5-8 minutes. Add chicken and 8 cups of broth; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool, then using two forks shred chicken into bite-size pieces.
Meanwhile, return broth to a simmer. Add orzo and peas and cook until orzo is al dente, 8-10 minutes. If necessary, add more broth to get desired consistency (I like my soup a bit thinner).
Remove pot from heat. Stir in chicken and dill. Serve with lemon halves for squeezing over…this part is essential and totally makes the dish!