Italian Chicken Soup Recipe
Italian Chicken Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Italian Chicken Soup Recipe

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This satisfying soup gets its Italian flair from fennel, thyme, basil and orzo pasta. If you don't start with a low-sodium or sodium-free stock, advises our Test Kitchen stay, you might want to decrease the amount of salt called for in the recipe.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 45 min.
MAKES:4 servings
Healthy Diabetic Exchange Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 45 min.
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fennel fronds

Nutritional Facts

1-1/2 cups equals 282 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 55 mg cholesterol, 769 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 26 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch 1 vegetable


  1. In a Dutch oven, saute fennel bulb and onion in oil until fennel is tender. Add the next seven ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduced heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in chicken and orzo. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until orzo is tender. Stir in fennel fronds. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Italian Chicken Soup in Light & Tasty December/January 2002, p61

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Reviewed Jan. 11, 2015

"I did not care for all of the flavors, but it was quick and easy to make. Orzo was a nice addition."

Reviewed Jan. 13, 2012

"I added celery and replaced Rosemary with the Basil. LOVED IT! This is a great, quick and easy recipe."

Reviewed Nov. 13, 2011

"I will double this the next time I make it!"

Reviewed Sep. 13, 2011

"This is a wonderful, easy, great-tasting soup. The broth has a very rich, soothing flavor, and I love the fennel. I've never cooked with it before, but it's perfect with the other ingredients, especially in an Italian soup. Instead of orzo, which I didn't have, I used mini-ziti. The only problem with this recipe is that it only makes 4 servings. I'll have to hide the leftovers from my husband."

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