Greek-style Spinach and Orzo Chicken Soup

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 6 hr
Serves: 8

This delicious, comforting soup is like a Greek version of minestrone. Packed with spinach and tomatoes, it is the perfect slow cooker recipe to have on hand in the fall.


1 1/3 lb (0.7 kg) bone-in, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) leek(s), light green and white part, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper(s), seeded, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) hot red chili pepper flakes
4 sprigs dill, fresh
1 cup (250 mL) canned diced tomatoes
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice, fresh
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt
5 cups (1.25 L) water
1 cup (250 mL) orzo
8 cups (2 L) baby spinach
1/4 cup (60 mL) dill, fresh, minced
1 lemon, cut into wedges
2 whole wheat pita, large


1 Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chopped leek and minced garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the diced red pepper and sauté another few minutes. Add to slow cooker.
2 Add chili pepper flakes, dill weed sprigs, bay leaf, cinnamon, tomatoes with juice, lemon juice, zest of lemon, salt and chicken broth and stir well to combine. Add skinless, bone-in chicken breasts. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours (or on high for 4-5 hours) until chicken is cooked through.
3 Meanwhile, cook orzo in a separate saucepan until al dente - about 10 minutes. Drain.
4 Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC).
5 Remove chicken and dill sprigs from slow cooker and cool. Take meat off the bone and dice into bite-size pieces.
6 Brush pitas with olive oil, cut into small pie shaped slices and place on baking pan. Cook pita’s in oven until crisp.
7 Add cooked orzo to soup along with chicken, baby spinach and minced fresh dill. Heat another 15 minutes until soup returns to boil and spinach is just cooked.
8 Serve in individual bowls with lemon wedges and pita crisps on the side.