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Lisan Asfoor (Egyptian Chicken and Orzo Soup)



About the Recipe

An Egyptian chicken and orzo soup. Cardamom and buttery toasted orzo takes this to the next level.


3-4lbs chicken, bone-in, skin-on (whole, legs, thighs, wings, breast, mixture, all works)

1 large onion, quartered

3 bay leaves

1 tomato

2Tsp cardamom, ground, or even better if you can get your hands on pods!

1Tsp black peppercorns, whole

4 bouillon cubes, we use maggi halal

3Tbsp butter or ghee

8oz orzo pasta


1Tsp salt * (taste as you go because bouillon cubes vary)


1: In a large pot combine chicken, onion, bay leaves, tomato, cardamom, black pepper, bouillon, salt and 10C of water. Cover the lid bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour and a half or longer if you like.

2: Strain out the stock and shred the chicken. Discard onion, tomato, etc.  Put the strained stock back in the pot.

3: Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add in orzo and continuously stir until a golden-brown color, it’s nutty and toasted.

4: Add toasted orzo and any remaining butter in the pan to the stock pot. If it appears you’ve lost some liquid during the cooking process, add in more. (I added in 2C) and adjust for salt as need be. Cook until orzo is al dente, about 10 minutes.

5: Add in shredded chicken. I add 2C of chicken and save the rest for sandwiches. You’ll yield more chicken than you need but you can add as much to the soup as you like. Cook for a couple of minutes to combine.

6: A non-negotiable is to serve this soup with freshly squeezed lemon. Enjoy!

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