Lemony Garlicky Chicken Soup

This is one of my absolute favorite soups of all time and believe me when I tell you it is a crowd pleaser. It’s the perfect riff on your mom’s chicken soup with just a little extra something thanks to the lemon and caramelized garlic! It’s rich and substantial, but still light and healthy. This soup is also quick and easy and will fill your home with that special chicken soup smell (plus lemon and garlic) which if you ask me make it even better. If you are a soup mega-fan like me, I promise you’ll enjoy this.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Soup

2 from 4 votes
Recipe by Recipe Wonderland Contributors Course: Dinner, SoupsDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 EVOO

  • 1 Pound 1 chicken breasts

  • 4 4 Large carrots chopped into 1/2 inch slices

  • 1 1 Medium sized leek chopped (sliced lengthwise and then chopped into 1/2 inch slices to form half moons) – white and light green parts only

  • 1 tbs 1 Chopped fresh thyme

  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

  • 8 cups 8 Low sodium chicken broth

  • 1 1 Parmesan Rind

  • 1 pinch 1 Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

  • 1 bunch 1 Lacinto Kale (aka Tuscan Kale) roughly chopped

  • Juice of one Lemon

  • 3 Cups 3 Short Pasta of your choosing (or 1lb orzo)

  • 2 2 Celery stalks cut into 1/2 inch slices

  • 6-10 6-10 Smashed cloves of garlic (I go with 10 but I love garlic, so adjust to your taste)

  • Grated Parmesan for serving

  • Fresh dill for serving


  • In a large pot, over medium heat, heat olive oil until it shimmers.
  • Meanwhile season the chicken generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Then add to the pan to sear. Cook for about 5 minutes per side.
  • Reduce to low heat. Add the smashed garlic cloves and cook for another 3-5 minutes until you start to see them turn golden.
  • Add the chopped carrots, leeks, celery, thyme and cook for another 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add the broth, parmesan rind, and red pepper flakes. Simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes or up to 4-6 hours over low heat.
  • Remove chicken carefully and shred. (I use two forks)
  • Stir in chopped kale and lemon juice, and add back your shredded chicken. Remove parmesan rind.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta you chose according to packaged directions, until al dente. Drain pasta.
  • Divide pasta among bowls and pour the soup over top. Top each bowl with fresh dill and even more lemon if you wish. I also topped mine with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese!

Seriously, what is better than chicken soup? When its cold out and you come inside… when you’re feeling lousy… when you just need to warm up. Bonus points for this one is that it’s packed with vitamins that can help soothe even the worst of colds. We love that!

Start out by searing the chicken in some olive oil, and then add the garlic to caramelize it. Cooking it slow and low like this allows it to really get soft and fragrant and takes out that garlicky bite – turning it sweet.

Once you’ve finished searing, add all of the other ingredients and cook until the chicken is falling apart. I used boneless chicken here because its so much easier to shred and I wanted this to come together quickly, but bone in chicken will lend extra flavor to the broth so if you’ve got time I suggest. doing it that way.

For the pasta – its really easiest to prepare outside of the soup. A lot of recipes tell you to cook the pasta in the soup, but if you have leftovers then the pasta will soak up all of the broth which leaves you with less to work with. And speaking of leftovers, this recipe is even better the next day.

To top it off since this soup is seasoned with fresh herbs, lemon, and parmesan, its perfectly light for spring, but still cozy in winter. I hope you enjoy!

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