Tarragon & Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo - Cook For Your Life- small appetites - Sopa de Estragón y Pollo al Limón con Orzo- cook for your life- anti-cancer recipes
Tarragon & Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo --
Servings: 6
Prep time: 30
Total time: 90 minutes
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Italian

Chicken soup is the best when you’re feeling low. A common feeling during cancer treatment. This Tarragon & Lemon Chicken Soup is a version of the classic which is not only soothing but also delicious. To get the delicate anise back notes that make this simple soup so very good, you’re going to need to use fresh tarragon, dry just won’t cut it. The flavor of soft leaved herbs like tarragon, parsley, and basil don’t survive the drying process well. I never cared for tarragon until I tasted it fresh, and now it’s a firm favorite, so seek out fresh, and give this easy nourishing soup a try.


  1. In a heavy bottomed pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and a sprinkle of salt. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onions are translucent, do not let brown.
  2. Add the 6 cups of water, tarragon sprigs, lemon peel, and chicken on the bone. Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 40 minutes, skimming any foam or fat on the surfaces. Add a little water if the soup has reduced by more than 1 inch.
  3. Remove the chicken and place into a bowl, let cool slightly then shred the meat and discard the bones. Return the chicken meat to the soup, bring to boil, then add in the orzo. Boil for 7 minutes then stir in the lemon juice, taste for seasonings then turn off the heat.
  4. Ladle into bowls and serve with a sprinkling of fresh tarragon


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 sprigs of tarragon
  • 2 inch lemon peel
  • 20 ounces chicken on the bone
  • ½ cup orzo
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons tarragon leaves chopped, for garnish

Nutritional Information


274 cals


16 g

Saturated Fat

4 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

3 g

Monounsaturated Fat

7 g


13 g


2 g


2 g


20 g


935 mg

*per serving

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Ann's Tips and Tricks

If you can’t find fresh tarragon, try a handful of fresh basil leaves instead. It won’t be the same taste, but it will a lot better than using dried herbs.




  1. I picked up on your recipe but instead I want to stir fry quickly thin slices of chicken breasts, take them out.
    Then in the same pan, stir celery bits and small carrot slices, then add the shallot and the lemon rind. At the last minute stir in the chicken slices with lots of fresh tarragon.
    Shall I add good white wine?
    I would serve on rice.
    Thank you so much for answering me.
    Martine Louis

    • Hi Martine, this stir fry sounds delicious! It sounds like you've got the basic technique down. As a website focused on cooking for people affected by cancer, we tend to recommend avoiding alcohol in our recipes. If you're looking for a pop of acid, you can achieve a similar flavor boost from citrus juice or vinegar. Hope this helps!


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