Orzo Chicken Soup – a delicious taste of comfort food

This is a magical recipe for Orzo Chicken Soup from Authentic Egyptian Cooking: From the Table of Abou El Sid by Nehal Leheta (AUC Press, 2015, paperback edition)

Serves: 2 – 4 Preparing the chicken soup: 40 minutes
Preparing the orzo: 5 minutes
Mixing: 10 minutes

Ingredients needed:
2 tbsp corn oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp grated onion
1 chicken breast (about 100g / ¼ lb)
1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 5 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cardamom pod
225g / 1 cup orzo (also called risoni)
1 ½ tsp flour
juice of ½ lemon (optional)

Preparing the chicken soup
1. Heat oil and butter together in a saucepan
2. Add grated onion, and saute until it turns golden brown. Boil chicken breast for half an hour, and add chicken stock, salt, white pepper, bay leaf, and cardamom pod
3. Add 1 ½ tsp flour and stir

Preparing the orzo
1. Fry the orzo with a little corn oil in a pan until it turns golden brown
2. Drain off the oil
3. Add the orzo to the soup over medium heat, and boil for 10 min until the orzo expands
4. Remove from heat

Can be served with lemon juice!

Orzo Chicken Soup is one of Egypt’s most frequently served soups. It is known as shorbet lesan ‘asfour. The origin of its name came from the shape of the orzo or risoni pasta. It is literally translated as ‘bird’s tongue.’


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