Chicken Lemon Pesto Soup with Farro | One-pot healthy recipes

This recipe is one that I made with a dietician. She traveled to Tuscany and was introduced to farro

She loved it so much that created a hearty soup with it. If you can’t find farro you can easily use barley, another whole grain found in Italy.

The basic process for this recipe is to cook the onions and then the chicken for a couple minutes. Then, add the veggies, herbs, lemon peel and broth and simmer 10-15 minutes.

Then, you add in the 10-minute farro (or cook regular farro beforehand in another pot. Farro freezes well so you can do a big batch beforehand).

In just 30 minutes this soup is ready to eat because its made with chicken breast without a bone. 

Sometimes you just have to get dinner on the table. When I have more time, I definitely go for bone-in chicken to make soups. The bone always gives more flavor but takes longer to cook. 

You can top the soup with pesto if you have it, but its just as good finished with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of cheese.

Enjoy this Tuscan treat!

Hope you’re family likes it as much as mine did!

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”; amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “chefjoannas20-20”; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “manual”; amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”; amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”; amzn_assoc_region = “US”; amzn_assoc_title = “My Amazon Picks”; amzn_assoc_linkid = “72ab0c41775234d63d7adb1132466053”; amzn_assoc_asins = “B0084O7KCA,B003L1CW8S,B00004S7V8,B075TSY1D4,B00CRUDO0Y,B00CBPG164,B07XLQ13WY,B00CRECTRE”;

Chicken Lemon Pesto Soup with Farro

Prep: 20 min.
Cook time: 35 min.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. Red pepper flakes
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 6 strips lemon peel, cut from 1 lemon
  • 1 quart (1 liters) organic chicken broth
  • 1 small head fennel, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 cup 10-minute farro or 2 cups pre-cooked farro (can sub barley or wheat berries)
  • 3 cups baby spinach (I forgot to add this time and it was still good!)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ -1 tsp. Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • Pesto, good quality, store-bought


1. Heat large soup pot with olive oil and add onion and crushed red pepper. Cook until onions soften, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the chicken and saute for 5 minutes. Then, add the parsley, lemon peel, fennel, carrots, celery and broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until carrots are soft.

3. Stir in the farro and cook for 10-12 minutes, or farro is cooked but has a bite to it. Stir in the baby spinach when farro is done. Stir to wilt the spinach (a minute or two).

4. Discard the lemon peel. Stir in the juice of a lemon and season with salt and pepper.

5. To serve, spoon soup into a bowl and top with 1 tsp. Pesto and 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese.

More one-pot recipes:

This post contains affiliated links. Please read my disclosure page.

Leave a Reply