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Chicken and Orzo Soup with Garlic and Paprika

4 Servings

40 minutes 15 minutes active

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For this simple Turkish-inspired soup, browning a generous amount of tomato paste with chopped garlic builds a complex, deeply savory base. Sweet paprika lends bold color and earthy notes and dried mint infuses the dish with its unique herbaceousness. Simmering the orzo in the broth after the chicken is fully tender ensures perfectly cooked pasta, and also adds body to the broth. If you like, serve with crusty bread or a simple salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette.



40 minutes

15 minutes active


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Angela L.
July 3, 2023
We all love this one!
I've made this soooo many times! The first time I made it I got busy cleaning house and the liquid reduced down by about a third but I left it that way and we really love the more concentrated flavor. Additionally, I always use the double strength tomato paste when making this soup - it adds additional depth of flavor IMO.
Alex H.
January 4, 2023
Great, quick soup!
Really enjoyed this soup. I didn't have the dried mint so I used dried oregano in its place.
Annette T.
December 13, 2022
Go To Soup
I always add more garlic so I increased the amount to 6 cloves. I also didn't have any paprika so used Mexican Chili Lime seasoning instead.
charla a.
October 23, 2022
Amazingly Complex Flavor
For such a simple and quick soup, the flavors are delicious and complex. I made exactly as shown, finishing with the suggested olive oil, lemon, fresh mint, whole milk yogurt and allepo pepper. Absolute keeper!
Meghanne P.
October 9, 2022
Easy to substitute
I don’t normally like changing up a recipe on my first attempt, but I have to say how pleased I was as at the flexibility of this one. We were in a rush and didn’t have time to thaw chicken for this soup, so we had to make do with chickpeas and replacing half the water with stock. Lovely flavor, and the lemon really brightened it up. Don’t be scared of the mint!
Michaela C.

I've made this twice in the past two weeks. The first time I made it exact to the recipe. The second time I halved the recipe, but used the full cup of orzo, this made it come out almost between a stew and a risotto and made the perfect portions for two people. I will definitely be adding this recipe to my usual weeknight repertoire, simply delicious!

Kristina F.

This soup is delicious. I don't use a lot of mint in cooking, so I was a bit worried about the amount listed in the recipe; however, I was happy to find that it was actually very well balanced once the soup was fully cooked. The only changes I made were to use chicken broth in place of 4 cups of the liquid called for since I used chicken breasts instead of thighs to make sure I didn't lose out on too much of the chicken flavor for the switch from thighs.

Debbie A.

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Rebecca S.

Wonderful! I really liked it with a splash of lemon. Will make again.

Cathy B.

Delicious! House still smells wonderful, too! To make this even easier, I used half of a rotisserie chicken -- prepared the soup according to directions, except added the orzo first -- cooked 15 minutes, then added the mint and chicken for the last 5 minutes to reheat. (Note - I used fresh mint.) I also used stock for the whole 7 c. Really good!

Chris W.

What exactly does "Simmer, uncovered, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets no resistance. " mean? 30 minutes, 60, 90???? Please give us a little more guidance on these vague instructions? Thank you.

Brian M.

Just a heads up - these “Cook-ish” recipes are intended to be less intensive, with instructions that rely on observation more than fixed time. Might not be a fit for everyone.

Chris W.

While I understand, any time guidance would be appreciated.

Tatiana R.

I would certainly temp it. The safe temperature for chicken is 165F, but I think at the point where the thighs would be in the state as described, the temperature would be closer to 190-210F.

Chris W.

I am making this tonight, if you made, about how long did the chicken cook? I am just asking a simple question for a time frame.

Chris W.

While I understand, any time guidance would be appreciated.

Chris W.

I am making this tonight, if you made, about how long did the chicken cook? I am just asking a simple question for a time frame.

Chris W.

2 comments and not one answered a simple question, OI!!!

Shannon J.

This was fantastic, easy to make, and great left over. I can’t imagine making this soup without the lemon juice at the end. That pulled the flavors together. Aleppo pepper was a nice addition as well. Thanks for another stellar recipe, Ms. Rackow!