Lemony Pesto Chicken Soup


I was at the salon the other evening and while reading a magazine, came across a page of quick soup recipes. “Hey, I have all of those ingredients!” I said to myself of one of the recipes and promptly took a photo so that I could recreate the recipe for lunch the following day.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember what magazine I got it from, so I can’t give credit where it’s due; but I’ll post the photo anyway, followed by my adaptation.

Sounds good and easy, no?

I had a box of broth in the fridge that I knew wasn’t 6 cups, but still needed to use up.  So I sort of halved this recipe. Well, you’ll see in the ingredient list below! I also didn’t have any greens or fresh basil on hand, so I opted for a handful of frozen green beans, which I threw in the pot about a minute before the chicken. It came together fairly quickly. The result was a bowl full of goodness:

It’s a generous portion for one or two small portions if you are serving it along-side something like a sandwich or, say, a nice hunk of bread. Here is my adaptation:

Lemony Pesto Chicken Soup
(Serves 1, generously)

  • 3 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I had just under 3.5 cups left to spare)
  • 1/4 cup orzo
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 cup shredded chicken {I didn’t halve this part of the recipe!}
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice {Nor did I halve this part!}
  • 1 Tbsp pesto
  • 1 Tbsp shredded parmesan (optional)
  • salt and pepper


  • Bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan.
  • Add 1/4 cup orzo and cook to al dente (approximately 1 minute less than package instructions.)
  • Add frozen green beans about one minute prior to the orzo being cooked to al dente. (Or thaw them first.)
  • Add 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken and heat through, about one minute.
  • Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
  • Transfer to serving bowl.
  • Top with a dollop of pesto and season with salt and pepper to taste.

So comforting and so healthy! And my green beans were perfectly cooked! While my favorite chicken soup is still this Immunity Soup, I don’t always have those ingredients readily on hand. So, this Lemony Pesto Chicken one is great to adapt, too, in a pinch. I’m going to go all Jules Clancy on you and give you a few adaptations:


  • Use rice or other pasta or grain instead of orzo or omit entirely
  • Use any favorite vegetable or green you have on hand. Add delicate greens at the end, but frozen vegetables while the pasta is cooking.
  • Use white beans or chickpeas instead of the chicken.
  • No pesto? Add a drizzle of oil at the end and/or another fresh herb!

Have you ever adapted a recipe you found in a magazine?
What is a recipe you seem to change up every time based on what you have in your kitchen?



3 responses »

  1. Thank you for posting. I just left the salon today and saw this recipe in the January/February issue of Martha Stewart’s magazine.

  2. Pingback: Soup Week! Books on Soup | Season It Already!

  3. Pingback: Soup (Book) Week: The One That Changed My Thinking… | Season It Already!

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