Vegetable orzo soup is loaded with artichokes, mushrooms, orzo, sweet carrots, creamy great northern beans, and the most delicious golden lemon broth. This truly satisfying meal is easy to make and it's ready in one hour!
This vegetable and orzo soup is loaded with creamy white beans, tender artichoke hearts, lots of vegetables, orzo, mushrooms, and a vibrant golden broth. It's absolutely delicious and it's ready in less than one hour!
This vegetable soup is cozy, comforting, and perfect for dinner on a cool night, but it's also a bright, lemon-infused, bowl of sunshine that's great to enjoy during the spring and summer too!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Orzo - You can substitute any type of small pasta, rice, barley, or quinoa.
- Onion, Celery, and Carrot - This is the perfect base for any kind of soup! You can use red, yellow, or sweet onions.
- Mushrooms - You can use cremini, shiitake, portobello, or button mushrooms.
- Garlic - Garlic adds loads of flavor to the soup. You can use fresh or dried. If you use dried, add 1 tsp of garlic powder.
- Ground Turmeric - This is what gives the vegetable broth a bright golden color!
- Dried Seasonings - Thyme, rosemary, and chili pepper flakes add so much flavor!
- Beans - I added beans for plant-based fiber. I used great northern beans, but you could also use chickpeas, navy beans, or cannellini beans.
- Artichoke - You can use canned, jarred, or frozen artichokes.
- Spinach - I use a few handfuls of fresh spinach, but could use thinly sliced kale (fresh or frozen) or collard greens instead.
- Lemon Juice - The vegetable broth gets the most delicious lemon flavor from the fresh lemon juice.
- Parsley - Fresh parsley adds so much flavor!
How to Make It
First, boil the orzo. While it's cooking, saute the onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms in a large pot or 6-quart dutch oven until they're soft. Add the dry seasonings and minced garlic to the pot and let it cook for a few minutes.
Next, add the vegetable broth, water, beans, and artichoke hearts to the pot and increase the heat to a low simmer. Reduce the heat and let it cook until the vegetables are tender. Lastly, stir in the spinach, parsley, and lemon juice. Let it cook until the spinach wilts, it should only take a few minutes.
To serve, put a scoop of the cooked orzo in each bowl and pour the hot vegetable soup over it. Stir to combine and then garnish with a lemon slice and more fresh parsley.
What Goes With It?
I like to serve this lemony vegetable and orzo soup with a side salad drizzled with ranch dressing and some toasted slices of no-knead whole wheat bread for dipping. A baked potato topped with dairy-free sour cream (I like to use Kite Hill unsweetened plain greek yogurt) and green onions would also be delicious to make the meal even more substantial.
Any of the following sides would be delicious with the soup:
- Arugula Avocado Tomato Salad
- Roasted Beetroot and Feta Salad
- Creamy Broccoli Salad
- Lemon Tahini Zucchini Salad
- Tortellini - Instead of orzo, use tortellini, gnocchi, or your favorite type of small noodle.
- More Vegetables - Add more veggies! Chopped zucchini, cauliflower, green cabbage, or broccoli florets would be great additions to the soup.
- Make it Creamy - Boil 1 cup of cashews for 10 minutes. Drain the water and blend the nuts with 2 cups of vegetable broth, a splash of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper to make cashew cream. Stir it into the soup to make it rich and creamy!
How To Store it
Store the leftover vegetable soup and cooked orzo in separate containers in the fridge for 2-3 days or you can freeze it for 2-3 months.
When you're ready to reheat it, remove both containers of vegetable soup and orzo from the freezer and put them in the fridge to defrost for 24 hours. Then you can warm up both together in the same pot. If the orzo starts to absorb some of the liquid, add a few tablespoons of vegetable broth or water.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, it's best to cook the orzo separately so it doesn't soak up all the liquid.
You can add ½ tbsp of dairy-free butter or olive oil to the pasta while it's still warm in the pot and stir it around to coat the noodles. Try to time it so the orzo is ready at the same time that the soup is ready so it doesn't have a chance to stick together.
Use lemon juice, garlic, dried seasonings, a pinch of chili pepper flakes, fresh herbs, and salt to add flavor. This recipe uses all of these ingredients to make this soup extremely flavorful!
To make this vegetable orzo soup recipe gluten-free, you need to use gluten-free orzo, rice, or quinoa instead of whole wheat orzo.
- Boil the orzo in a separate pot. If you cook it in the soup, it will soak up a lot of the liquid and give it a more stew-like consistency.
- To keep the recipe oil-free, use artichokes that are packed in water, not oil. Also, don't put any oil in the orzo.
- Use a fresh lemon if possible. The stuff in a squeeze bottle does not taste the same as fresh lemon juice.
- It's best to store the leftover cooked orzo in a separate container so it won't absorb the vegetable broth in the soup.
Want More Vegan Soup Recipes?
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Easy Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Cabbage Soup
- Creamy Vegetable Lasagna Soup
- Wild Rice Soup
- Carrot Ginger Soup
- Vegetable Barley Soup
Lemon Vegetable Orzo Soup
- 6-Quart Dutch Oven or Large Pot
- Medium Pot
- 1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 3 medium celery stalks sliced
- 4 medium carrots sliced
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms sliced
- 5 medium garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- ¼ tsp chili pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp salt (add more to taste)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- (2) 14 oz cans great northern beans rinsed and drained
- 14 oz can artichoke hearts (packed in water, not oil) halved
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 2-3 handfuls fresh spinach
- 4-5 tbsp fresh lemon juice (add more to taste)
- ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
- Cook the orzo in a separate pot while you make the rest of the soup.
- (Do this step while the orzo is cooking) In a large dutch oven over medium heat, saute the onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms until the veggies start to soften and the onions are translucent.
- Add thyme, rosemary, chili pepper flakes, turmeric, salt, black pepper, and the minced garlic to the pot. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add the vegetable broth, water, beans, and artichokes to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the soup up to a low simmer, and then reduce the heat to medium-low and let it cook for 15-20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
- Lastly, stir in 2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach, lemon juice, and fresh parsley. Stir to combine and let the soup cook for about 5 minutes or until the spinach has wilted a little bit.
- To serve, put a scoop of the cooked orzo in each bowl and pour the hot soup over it. Garnish with a lemon slice and a sprinkle of parsley.
- Boil the orzo in a separate pot from the soup. If you cook it in the vegetable broth with the rest of the ingredients, it will soak up a lot of the liquid.
- To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free orzo, rice, or quinoa.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days or you can freeze it for 2-3 months.