This lemon, chicken, and farro soup is hearty and wholesome!
January is unofficial soup month at our house, because it’s all I want on cold chilly nights. I admit I can be a bit boring when it comes to making soups, and I usually stick to a few staples like chili or chicken noodle. This lemon, chicken and farro soup is a fun spin I put on my typical chicken noodle soup, and I’ve completely fallen in love with it! I swapped the noodles for farro, added some brightness with a little lemon, and left the rest as is.
This chicken soup is so filling, hearty, and delicious, and an awesome healthy option when you need a bowl of something cozy.
How to Make this lemon, chicken and farro soup
This soup is so easy! All it takes is a few easy steps:
- Season chicken (you can use breasts or thighs) with salt and pepper and brown on both sides.
- Cook onions, carrots, celery and garlic in the chicken juices for optimal flavor.
- Return chicken to the pan along with chicken broth, lemon zest, fresh thyme, and salt and pepper.
- Add farro and simmer.
- Shred chicken and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Cooking with farro
Are you cooking with farro? It’s one of my favorite grains (this farro with chicken, kale, and coconut “salad” is what got me hooked) and I’ll use it often in place of rice or other grains in soups, salads, or grain bowls. Farro is an ancient grain that is similar to barley after it’s been cooked. It’s an excellent source of protein, fiber and nutrients like magnesium, zinc and some B vitamins. More info on farro here.
While you can cook it in liquid until the liquid has been absorbed (like rice and other grains), I always cook it in a pot of boiling water like pasta until al dente, about 20 minutes. This method plus its chewy texture make it perfect for soups! That chewiness will keep it from getting soggy during cooking and reheating.
Other soup recipes
If you like this lemon, chicken, and farro soup you might like these other cozy recipes:
- Potato and Leek Soup with Italian Sausage
- Easy Weeknight Chili
- Ham and Lentil Soup
- Easy Chicken Ramen Soup
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Lemon, Chicken and Farro Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken, can use breasts or thighs
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup farro
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in heavy pot over medium high heat. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Brown chicken, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pot and set aside.
- Add remaining olive oil to pot. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until softened and just start to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, thyme, and browned chicken to pot.
- Zest the lemon and add zest to the pot.
- Bring to a boil and then add farro. Simmer for 20 minutes until farro is tender.
- Chicken may be cooked through before 20 minutes are up, depending on the size or your breasts or thighs. Check with an instant read thermometer (chicken is done at 165°), or by cutting chicken open to see if it's cooked through. When chicken is done, remove from pot and let cool slightly, then shred.
- When farro is tender, add shredded chicken back to pot. Add juice from half of the lemon. Taste soup, and if desired, add more lemon juice and/or salt. Serve hot.