Lemony Chicken & Orzo Soup

Lemony Chicken & Orzo Soup

Makes 4-6 servings.

1 medium lemon, halved crosswise
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Red Dog fennel bulb, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 c. water
1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. orzo
1 (15.5-oz can) white beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch Red Dog kale, ribs removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
Lemon wedges, for serving

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add lemon halves cut-side down and let cook undisturbed until lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Carefully remove and set aside to cool.

Immediately add oil, fennel and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are beginning to turn golden at the edges, around 12 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add broth and water and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of your pan. Add chicken and bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate or cutting board to cool slightly.

Bring soup to a boil and add orzo and beans. Boil until orzo is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, shred chicken using clean hands or 2 forks. When orzo is finished cooking, return shredded chicken to pot and turn off heat. Fold in kale leaves until wilted and squeeze lemon halves into soup (being careful to remove any seeds first). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan.