Go Back
+ servings
Overhead view of a crock with handles with the soup in it. There are two pieces of shrimp, chicken and chorizo showing

Paella Soup

This soup is hearty, flavorful and so delicious that you'll want it often. It even tastes better as leftovers and freezes well.
Course Soup
Cuisine Spanish
Keyword paella soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 cups
Calories 277kcal


Vegetables and Broth

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 3 carrots (chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • .25 teaspoon pepper
  • 48 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • .25 cup sherry
  • .50 teaspoon saffron threads (heaping - either whole or crushed)
  • 3 teaspoons garlic paste (or 3 cloves - crushed)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken thighs (cut into 1.5 inch pieces - you can substitute 2 boneless breasts if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound shrimp (shells off and deveined)
  • 8 ounces chorizo sausage (casing removed and sliced and quartered)


  • 1.5 cup orzo (for a soupier soup - decrease to 1 cup - see notes)
  • 1 cup water (omit if you are using only 1 cup of orzo)


  • Heat a medium stockpot on medium heat
  • Add 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Add carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Add onions and celery, salt and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add broth, white wine, sherry, garlic paste and saffron and bring to a slight boil

At the same time as you start the veggies

  • Heat two sauté pans and add 1 tablespoon of oil in one, and butter in the other
  • Add chicken to the olive oil pan and shrimp to the butter pan
  • Sauté shrimp for 5 minutes stirring every 30 seconds or so until they become opaque, remove from pan and set aside
  • Turn chicken every few minutes and sauté for 8 minutes maximum - you will not cook the chicken all the way through
  • Add chicken, chorizo and orzo to the broth and once it comes to a slight boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes
  • Add shrimp and simmer for 2 minutes
  • Ladle some in a bowl
  • Eat
  • Smile
  • Enjoy


Helpful tips:
  • For this soup, I like using shrimp that is on the big side; I recommend 16 - 20 per pound.
  • I make this soup with boneless and skinless chicken thighs but if you prefer breast meat, go for it.
  • Defrost the shrimp at least ten minutes before starting the recipe. It takes around 5 minutes to defrost them and up to 5 minutes to take the shells and tails off and to devein them if necessary.
  • Here's how to defrost the shrimp: Place a colander in the sink and place the frozen shrimp inside. Run cold water over the shrimp and use your hands to separate them. I do this over and over during the five minutes until they are thawed.
  • Cut up the chicken into 1.5 inch chunks.
  • Cut the chorizo in slices first and then in quarters. Even though most chorizo has an edible casing, I always peel it off.
  • Start cooking the vegetables right before you start cooking the shrimp and chicken. So you will need more than one sauté pan plus the Dutch oven. But if you don't mind the extra time, you can get away with one sauté pan and the Dutch oven.
  • You can either use the saffron threads whole or crush them with a mortar and pestle, your choice.
  • I like a lot of orzo in my soups, so I used 1.5 cups. But if you like a soupier soup, just use one cup.
  • If you choose to only use one cup of orzo, omit the cup of water.


Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 137mg | Sodium: 1161mg | Potassium: 342mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2665IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 2mg