This Lemony Chicken with Stars Soup is sure to please both kids and adults alike! It’s loaded with chicken, fun star pasta and veggies with a burst of lemon flavor and SUPER easy to make!
Soup season is my favorite! And truth be told, soup season is all year round at our house.
I know some people who really just enjoy it during the fall and winter seasons, but there are so many soup recipes that work all year round. Why limit it to just the colder weather months?
Chicken soup has always been a year rounder here. Especially if someone’s sick. Not sure if there’s anything behind chicken soup curing the common cold, but it’s ultra-comforting nonetheless, don’t ya think?
I saw this little star pasta at my local market and that’s how this recipe actually came to be. I was dying to make something with it. The pasta’s Italian name is stelline. If you can’t find it at your local market you can take a peek here. I could have used orzo or maybe ditalini, but I thought the stars were fun. They brought out the kid that still lives in me.
This recipe is incredibly easy as I went with store-bought cooked, shredded rotissterie chicken. If your market doesn’t carry that, you can cook your own chicken in a skillet, let it cool and then shred it or use any leftover chicken you may already have.
How to easily shred chicken
The easiest way to shred your chicken is by putting it in a large bowl and using your hand mixer. Just turn your mixer on low speed and use it to break up the chicken into shreds. If you don’t want to break out the hand mixer, you can always use two forks.
I’ve seasoned the soup with some freshly chopped tarragon and thyme leaves which give it great flavor. And I loaded it with celery, carrots, the fun star pasta and about 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I thought this was a good amount of lemon flavor, but if you’d like more, by all means add more.
A Few Cook’s Notes for Lemony Chicken with Stars Soup Recipe:
You can also use orzo or ditalini pasta for this recipe if you cannot find the stelline.
As mentioned above, if you can’t find the cooked and shredded rotisserie chicken at your market you can cook two large chicken breasts in a skillet, let them cool and then shred. You’ll need close to four cups of shredded chicken for the recipe.
You don’t cook the pasta ahead of time. It goes in uncooked and cooks up in the soup.
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 3 carrots, diced
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup stelline pasta
- 4 cups shredded chicken
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- saltine crackers, for serving, if desired
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the carrots, onions and celery and cook, stirring often, until they are somewhat softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and pepper and cook for another minute. Add the chicken broth, tarragon, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for ten minutes.
- Add the pasta and continue to cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring often. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the chicken and the lemon juice and heat through. The soup will thicken as it stands because of the added pasta, so if you need to thin it out just add more broth or a bit of water.