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plate of creamy chicken orzo soup

Creamy chicken orzo soup

  • Author: Amélie
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Turkish


Tavuk çorbası is a creamy chicken orzo soup. It is hands down, the most comforting Turkish soup ever! One spoonful is all it will take to make you fall head over heels for this luscious, slightly tart, soup full of tender pasta and juicy chicken.


  • 2 small chicken breasts, about 250g (9 oz)
  • 1.2L water (5 cups)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 30g butter (2 tbsp)
  • 55g orzo pasta (arpa şehriye), (2 oz, ¼ cup) or use another type of short pasta
  • 350g Turkish süzme yoghurt, or use whole-milk Greek yoghurt (1 ½ cup)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30g all-purpose flour (2 heaped tbsp)
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 tsp pul biber, or use another type of chilli flakes  (optional)


  1. Poach the chicken breasts. Put the chicken breasts in a saucepan and cover with the water. Add the salt and black pepper and bring to a simmer over high heat. When bubbles start to rise to the surface, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 13 min. Remove the chicken breasts from the saucepan using a slotted spoon and set them aside to cool on a cutting board. Strain the chicken stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a big bowl and reserve. Cut the chicken breasts into 1,5cm (½ in) cubes.
    poached chicken on plate


  2. Cook the orzo. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the orzo when the butter has melted and begins to sizzle. Sauté until the orzo turn a deep golden brown, about 7 min (keep an eye on it because it can burn). Pour the reserved stock into the pan, and increase heat to quickly bring to a boil. When the stock is boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the orzo is tender, about 7 to 10 min. Remove from the heat. 
    orzo roasted in butter


  3. Thicken the soup. Whisk the yogurt and egg yolk together in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and whisk well until completely combined. Gradually pour 500ml (2 cups) of the stock onto the yogurt mixture while whisking constantly (it’s okay if there is some orzo in the stock). Then slowly pour the yogurt sauce into the pan with the rest of the stock and stir. Place the pan over medium heat. Cook the soup, stirring regularly, until it thickens and reaches the same consistency as buttermilk, about 12 min. Add the cubed chicken during the last 5 min to warm up. To prevent the yogurt from curdling, the temperature of the soup shouldn’t go above 85°C (185°F). Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Divide the soup into 3 bowls/plates and serve with wedges of lemon. I like to sprinkle pul biber (chili flakes) over the top to spice up this creamy chicken orzo soup but it’s totally up to you. 
    yogurt-based soup in pan


This creamy chicken orzo soup can keep for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

The soup will thicken as it cools down. If you’ve got leftover soup, gently warm it through and the consistency should turn back to normal. If not you can always stir in just-boiled water (2 tbsp at a time) to thin it down.


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 728

Keywords: turkish soup, chicken soup, warming winter meals