As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Life Lately . . . and Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Happy Spring, friends!

I hear someone saying, "Where is she? She promised to tell us about last year's completed home projects, but she seems to have disappeared!"

Well, friends, I am still here. Life is full! Somehow, I am busier now than when I was homeschooling my children. I never would have guessed! 

Since I last posted here on my blog . . . 

🍋 I have been busy with my mom.
Her life is quite different these days, and I am doing what I can to help. 

🍋 I have been hosting. 
I have hosted a weekly ladies' Bible study, a "Soup & Hymns" gathering with our church music team and their families, and a group of friends for lunch. Hosting is my happy place and I was not able to have people over for nearly a year. I guess I am making up for lost time. 

🍋 Bekah and I went on a weekend retreat with some ladies from our church.

🍋 We have been painting and painting and painting. 
This project is one of our house goals for 2024. I haven't told you about it yet because I'm still talking about last year's projects. Good grief. 

I do plan to finish up that last post about 2023's completed house projects . . . but that post is not yet ready. 

In the meantime, I'd like to share a recipe that I have served to two of the groups that we have hosted. This soup is light and fresh and tastes of spring to me. 

original recipe 

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 small onion, diced
1 whole boneless chicken breast
1 cup roughly chopped spinach
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 cup orzo pasta
8 cups chicken broth
2 lemons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place on baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes.
Remove, loosely cover with foil and let rest.

Turn up heat to 400 degrees.
Slice a lemon and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
Roast lemon slices for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add carrot, celery, and onion and sauté for 6-8 minutes.
Add broth, spinach, thyme, and orzo. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to boil, cover partially with lid, and reduce heat.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Shred chicken and add to soup.
Add the zest and juice of one lemon.

Stir and serve. Top with roasted lemon slices. 


  • The original recipe called for bone-in chicken breasts, but we had boneless so that's what we used and it was fine.
  • When I made this soup, I doubled the recipe. (The first time, I had a large group. The second time, I wanted leftover soup for dinner.)  I doubled everything except the lemon zest and juice because I didn't want the lemon to be overpowering. It wasn't, but you could certainly increase it if you prefer a bolder lemon flavor. 
  • One of my lunch guests cannot eat gluten, so I used gluten-free orzo that I purchased on Amazon. I couldn't tell the difference. 

Yum! This soup is so good on a cool, spring day. I think this will become a springtime classic around here! 

Do you have any springtime classics? I'd love to know!


  1. It's good to read a post from you again. Being a soup lover, I can always enjoy a new recipe. This looks so good. I would probably replace orzo with cauliflower rice (that I stir fry with seasoning so I barely detect a cauliflower taste) so as a TID I would be able to enjoy the soup. Love "our" dishes!

    1. Thanks for visiting, Dotsie! I'm a soup lover too. I don't get tired of it, and often make a big pot so that we can have it for several days. (I am thankful that my family likes leftovers!) Love that you make adaptations to accommodate your diet. I don't get tired of "our" dishes either! :)

  2. Hello Cheryl, lovely new Tulip header!
    That soup looks delicious. One of our favorite light dishes is "Chicken Picatta" from Jenny Hobick at I modify her recipe quite a bit to our liking by basically only using Angel Hair pasta, chicken broth, chicken breasts, and olives on the side (one of us doesn't like capers!).
    Happy Spring and have fun with your projects. I'm hosting a Craft night at our church teaching the ladies how to do Paper Quilling. Yes, it sure is nice when we have the time to get together with other lady friends.

    1. Thank you, Melissa! My header needed a fresh start . . . it was still Christmas on my blog! I would love to try Jenny Steffens Hobick's chicken picatta. Several of her recipes are already favorites here. Oooo . . . I would also love to attend your paper quilling class if it was not so far to drive!

  3. I do like Orzo, in salads as well as hot dishes. Your life must be so busy at the moment. I hope your mum is coping well,

    1. Life is quite busy, but I am getting into a groove. Mom has her good days and bad days. I think she's doing well, all things considered.

  4. I understand about life's fullness, my friend. It is good to hear from you between the busy times. You are exactly where you need to be. It must be difficult beyond belief for your mother and for your whole family adjusting to the loss of the presence of your dear one.
    The soup sounds delicious and one that would be great on these cool spring days! Take care.

    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Martha Ellen! Yes, I think that I am exactly where I need to be. Life is full of seasons, isn't it, and the key is to adapt and accept what is there for us to do. I know that you speak from experience about loss, and your understanding is so comforting.

  5. That soup sounds wonderful! I’m going to try it soon!

    I’m so glad you’re hosting (you’re so good at it) and welcoming people into your home! It’s a happy place for you.

    Love you lots!
    Deanna Rabe

    1. I hope you enjoy the soup, and I think that you will! I consider it high praise to receive such kind words from one who is such a wonderful hostess! Thank you! Love you too, friend!

  6. Life has its seasons and we have to adjust to them. Helping your mom during this time is so important. How lovely that you are beginning to host again. The soup sounds delicious. In spring I love to roast asparagus to serve with roast chicken. Just plain, with salt and a bit of pepper and olive oil.
    Have a good weekend.

    1. I must have had your words playing in my mind when I answered Martha Ellen's comment! Yes, it is a new season for me and I know that I am where I am supposed to be. Thank you for that encouragement!

      You have reminded me to add asparagus to my grocery list. We had a small patch of asparagus at our former home and I miss having that ready source every spring. Mmmm . . .

  7. That soup looks and sounds delicious, Cheryl. I hope to try it! Before now I didn't think of it as a spring classic, but when I learned today that leeks are an early spring vegetable, I realized that must be why I always seem to buy some in March and/or April and make potato leek soup. It's a favorite of hubs and mine, and I served it recently to friends. The recipe was asked for - so I guess it was a hit.

    1. Thank you, Becki! And now you have me thinking about potato leek soup . . . mmmm . . .

  8. Well...speaking of busy, I've been on the busy train which really sets me back in recovery time the older I get! It was nice to have a catch-up with you and hear about they things that are keeping you busy. That soup looks very good. Thanks for the recipe. I'll keep that in mind for our meal train for some of the church family that are going through chemo.

    1. Ellen, I know exactly what you mean about that recovery time! And my mind needs recovery, as well as my body, hence my infrequent posting. Thanks for catching up with me and hanging in there with me, friend!

  9. Oh wow - I hear you Cheryl!!! I can't seem to keep up with the fast pace around here and my blogging and blog visiting has fallen off the wagon so to speak. Maybe we are all making up for the dreadful lost time of these past few years? I'm sure your momma appreciates your attention - bless your heart for this.
    The soup looks and sounds delish. Take care and do not apologize - living your life to the fullest! Hugs ...

    1. Rosella, thank you for your words of kindness and understanding! We are both doing our best, aren't we? And life's obligations take priority over blogging. How time flies!

      (I have comment moderation enabled after seven days. So your comments were in my moderation folder . . . no fault of yours!)

      {{{Hugs}}} back to you!

  10. The seasons of life shift and shift. Does the pace of life ever get slower? It seems to just change to new situations when old ones fade away. Thankfully, His grace promises to be sufficient in all things. Blessings to you, Cheryl, for a Happy Spring. And blessings too for your dear mom as she faces this new season of her life.

    1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, dear Brenda! Indeed, I am grateful for His grace that is sufficient and it is good to be reminded of that!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...