Thickened with fragrant and tangy lemony egg sauce, this luxurious Greek Instant Pot chicken lemon soup is silky and rich with no cream or dairy in sight. It’s one of the best chicken soup recipes out there so make sure to give a try in your pressure cooker.
Pare 1 – the base stock
2 chicken breasts (with or without the bone, skin off)
2 chicken thighs (skin off, thigh and leg)
5 cups of water (about 1.2 Liters)
1 cube chicken stock or 1 tablespoon chicken stock powder
1 medium onion, halved
2 carrots, halved
2 celery sticks, halved
5 cloves of garlic (whole)
2 bay leaves
1 rosemary sprig (optional)
Part 2 – the soup
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 large eggs or 3 medium/small
1/3 cup lemon juice (1.5-2 lemons, squeezed)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8–10 oz shredded cooked chicken (250-300 g)
Fresh parsley to garnish
Part 1. Making the base stock
- If the chicken comes with skin on, remove as much of it as you can. You can roast it in the oven till crispy and season with salt for a savory snack or serve on top of the soup.
- Add the chicken stock ingredients to the Instant Pot and pour in the water. Stir through and pop the lid on top. Set to Manual/Pressure Cook, High pressure for 17 minutes. The pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and the timer will begin. Once the timer stops, allow about 15 minutes for natural pressure release. Then move the top valve to Venting to let off the remaining pressure.
- While the base stock is cooking, cut up carrots and celery for Part 2 and prepare the lemon zest and juice.
Part 2. Making the soup
- Open the Instant Pot lid once the pressure is released. Remove the chicken pieces, vegetables and loose onions to a plate.
- Add orzo pasta, diced carrots and celery, and lemon zest to the stock. Stir through and put the lid back on top, lock and make sure the top valve is again pointing to Sealing.
- Set to Manual/Pressure Cook, High Pressure, for 2 minutes. Once the timer is up, allow 10 minutes for natural pressure release again. Then use the quick release method to let off the rest.
- Once the soup is cooked and the Instant Pot is on natural release, prepare the egg and lemon sauce. This is the sauce that we will add to the soup to thicken it.
- Add the eggs to a measuring jug or a bowl and whisk until frothy. Add the lemon juice in small pours while whisking the eggs at the same time. Whisk until frothy and set aside.
- Open the lid and stir the soup. Ladle about 1/2 cup of hot stock. Slowly, pour little bits of hot stock in the egg mixture while whisking it. We’re adding the hot liquid gradually to make sure we don’t curdle or cook the eggs. This is called tempering as we’re slowly raising the temperature of the egg sauce without cooking it. Then repeat the process with another 1/2 cup of hot broth.
- While the soup is still very hot but not on heat or boiling, pour in the egg mixture into the hot soup while whisking it. If the soup has cooled down, heat it up to very hot first. As you add the egg sauce, the soup will thicken and change its colour to creamy white.
- Finally, add extra salt (we used another 1/2 teaspoon but you can season to taste), a little pepper and stir in the shredded, cooked chicken. Serve with fresh parsley and lemon on top. Enjoy!
Using rice instead of orzo: some recipes call for rice instead of pasta, instructions should be pretty much the same. You might want to rinse the rice briefly before adding to the pot. Cooking time should work for regular, medium to long-grain rice but not for brown or wild rice, which requires longer cooking times.
Dietary notes: low-calorie, nut-free, dairy-free, Mediterranean Diet, healthy, protein-rich, low in sugar.
Weight Watchers: 7 Smart Points (green)
Keywords: Orzo, Mediterranean, Chicken Soup