Recipes Soups Poultry and Meat Soups Parmesan Broth with Lemon, Chicken and Spinach

Parmesan Broth with Lemon, Chicken and Spinach

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

This simple recipe can be made even easier by using shredded rotisserie or grilled chicken. Adding the rind from a piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese during cooking lends depth of flavor to the soup.


  • 2 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 3/4 lb.
     (375 g) total
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch (2.5-cm) piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind,
      plus cheese shavings for garnish
  • 6 cups (48 fl. oz./1.5 l) chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small bunch spinach, tough stems removed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a small saucepan, combine the chicken breasts with cold water to cover by 1 inch  (2.5 cm). Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is opaque throughout, 15 to 18 minutes, skimming off any foam on the surface. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Shred the chicken.

In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese rind, broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the spinach and chicken and simmer, stirring constantly, just until the spinach is wilted. Remove and discard the cheese rind, and season the soup with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately, garnished with cheese shavings. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011).