Greek chicken soup with orzo, grape leaves, and lemon

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free

2 Servings, 600 Calories/Serving

30 – 40 Minutes

This soup is a mash-up of two of Greece’s most loved dishes: avgolemono, a chicken-egg-lemon soup, and dolmades, stuffed grape leaves. We left out the egg, leaving a bright, lemony broth. Then we added briny, chopped grape leaves and orzo, making this a satisfying, one-pot meal.


  • 3 grape leaves
  • Two 6-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 to 2 shallots
  • Peeled fresh garlic
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh dill
  • 1 lemon
  • Soup spice blend (allspice - cinnamon)
  • ½ cup orzo
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock



Soak the grape leaves

  • Rinse the grape leaves under cold water.
Fill a bowl with fresh cold water, add the grape leaves, and let soak for 10 minutes. While they soak, poach the chicken.


Cook the chicken

Fill a pot with 6 cups salted water. Add the chicken breasts, bring to a boil, reduce to a vigorous simmer, and poach until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool. Reserve 2½ cups of the poaching liquid, then clean out the pot. While the chicken cooks, prepare the vegetables.


Prep the vegetables

  • Peel and thinly slice the shallot.
  • Finely chop enough garlic to measure 1½ teaspoons.
  • Remove the grape leaves from the soaking water. Remove any coarse stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
  • Strip the mint and dill leaves from their stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
  • Juice the lemon.


Make the soup

In the same pot used for the chicken, over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the shallot, garlic, and soup spice blend. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft and the spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chopped grape leaves, the orzo, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, and 1½ cups of the reserved chicken poaching liquid.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the orzo is just tender, 6 to 8 minutes, adding more reserved poaching liquid as needed if the soup seems too thick. While the soup cooks, shred the chicken.


Finish the soup

  • Using a fork or your hands, shred the chicken.
Add the shredded chicken to the hot soup and simmer until the chicken is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the mint, dill, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.



Ladle the soup into individual bowls and serve.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 600, Protein: 49 g, Total Fat: 19 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Saturated Fat: 3,5 g, Cholesterol: 100 mg, Carbohydrates: 57 g, Fiber: 4 g, Added Sugar: 0 g, Sodium: 380 mg

Contains: wheat

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