This Vegetable Orzo Soup has a delicious aroma of onions, celery, and carrots mixed with diced tomatoes, seasonings, and orzo pasta to make a hearty filling soup.
» You might also like this Delicious Chicken Rice Soup.
This is a good hot soup for a cold day. We love using orzo in soup because it’s so easy to eat, with a little bit of everything in each spoonful.
This is a very easy soup to make, yet it is so rich in nutrients and is filling even without any protein added. Make it for meatless Monday or serve it alongside your main dish as a great starter.
Ingredients You Need
It takes 10 minutes to prepare this meal, and it cooks for 25 minutes. The following are the ingredients required for this recipe:
- Olive oil – You can use olive oil or any kind of cooking oil you like. I like olive oil because it adds a nice flavor and it’s good for you.
- Onion – Use white or yellow onions. I often prefer to use sweet onions because I like their flavor and low bitterness.
- Carrots and Celery – These are the perfect vegetables to use to add great aromatics and flavor to your soup.
- Garlic – Always use fresh garlic that hasn’t been kept in the refrigerator for too long. This has the best flavor and no bitterness that comes from older garlic.
- Vegetable or chicken stock – Use a low-sodium broth to not add extra salt to the dish. You can also use water mixed with bouillon cubes.
- Tomatoes – Use diced tomatoes in a can with no added preservatives of sugar. I prefer Cento San Marzano brand, but you can use any brand you like.
- Orzo – Orzo is a form of short-cut pasta that is shaped like a large grain of rice. It’s made from semolina flour and has a high gluten content.
- Salt and Black pepper – This is what really brings the flavor out in this dish, so be sure to add the salt and pepper. You might also taste the dish once it’s done cooking and add more to suit your taste.
- Thyme and Oregano – Seasoning with these herbs give the soup a nice warm and inviting aroma. You can also add rosemary if you enjoy it.
- Fresh spinach – I like to use baby spinach, not fully grown spinach leaves, because they’re more tender and have smaller stems.
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How to Make Vegetable Orzo Soup
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté the veggies until softened, about 5 minutes. Don’t overdo it, or they will breakdown too much and lose their texture. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Pour in the stock, diced tomatoes, orzo, and seasonings. Scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. This adds an extra depth of flavor to the soup.
Bring the soup just to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until the orzo is cooked through, which takes about 7 – 10 minutes. Again, you don’t want to overdo it because the pasta will become soggy.
Roughly chop the spinach and add it in the last 5 minutes. It will wilt quickly and incorporate into the soup.
Remove it from the heat and serve.
- In addition to or as a substitution for the vegetables listed in this recipe, you can add bell peppers, cannellini beans, broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, asparagus, zucchini, and any other vegetable available in your home.
- You can use kale in the place of spinach, if you want, but be sure to cut off the hard stem. It will need more time to cook than spinach.
- As a substitute for orzo, you can use any small-sized pasta. We’ve used small macaroni, orecchiette, and ditalini pasta, which is a short tube pasta.
Tips and Notes
- Sauté only until the vegetables are soft. You don’t want them to lose their texture from overcooking. The right timing will depend on how large you chopped it.
- While stirring, scrape the pot’s bottom because the orzo often sticks to the bottom, thanks to the high amount of gluten.
- Chop or cut your vegetables the same size so they will cook uniformly.
- Cook the orzo until it is al dente for the best texture.
How To Store and Reheat
You can store any leftovers in an airtight container for five days in the refrigerator and three months in the freezer. This should be done after you allow the vegetable orzo to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes.
If you’ve taken it out of the freezer, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating on a stovetop or microwave.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is orzo gluten-free?
No, orzo is a type of pasta that is not gluten-free. However, you can order a special orzo that is gluten-free.
Is orzo pasta healthy?
Orzo has as much nutritional value as pasta. You can buy a whole wheat orzo if you want a proteinous orzo. But vegetable orzo soup is cooked with a variety of vegetables, making the soup very nutritious.
Is orzo more healthy than rice?
Yes, orzo is more healthy than rice. Though both are low in fat and have the same carbohydrate count, orzo has a higher protein content than rice.
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Vegetable Orzo Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1/2 cup carrots diced
- 1/2 cup celery diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 4 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup orzo pasta
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 cups fresh spinach roughly chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the stock, diced tomatoes, orzo, and seasonings. Scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until the orzo is cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the spinach in the last 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.