This one-pot Vegetable Orzo Soup with spinach is a tasty and filling soup. It's perfect for chilly days, and guaranteed to warm you up in a flash! Packed with veggies, spinach, and orzo this soup is tasty and filling making it great for dinner or lunch.
This vegan orzo soup is packed with flavour, and so easy to make. Made with simple ingredients and pantry staples, this hearty veggie soup is filling enough to serve for lunch or dinner.
We usually have this on its own or with some tasty soda bread. That's all you need with this soup, it really is a completely delicious meal!
❤️ Why You'll Love This One-Pot Orzo Vegetable Soup
- This soup is vegan - making it a great addition to your meat-free Mondays!
- It's filling and satisfying - this really is a complete meal, and is hearty enough for dinner.
- Easy to make - this soup really is easy to make, it's all cooked in one pot with some simple ingredients. It's very adaptable too so you can use so many other veggies here. This is the perfect recipe for adding in extras too!
- Great for meal prep - if you're looking for an easy meal prep soup this is it! This soup reheats really well so is perfect for meal prep!
🛒 What You'll Need
Please see the recipe card below for the full ingredient list and step-by-step instructions
- Vegetables - you will need two bell peppers, one red onion, carrots, celery, handfuls of fresh baby spinach, freshly squeezed lemon juice and canned tomatoes.
- Herbs and spices - dried oregano, dried coriander leaf, red chilli flakes and fresh garlic
- Vegetable Stock - I use a vegan vegetable stock (vegetable broth) that is also gluten-free.
- Orzo Pasta - You should find this in the pasta section of any large supermarket.
🔪 How to Make Vegetable Orzo Soup
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven, Add the chopped onion carrot and celery and a small pinch of salt for 15 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, oregano, dried coriander and red chilli flakes. They only need a minute or two, until the garlic releases its aroma.
3. Next, add the chopped bell peppers stir well and cook for a few minutes.
4. Then, pour in the can of chopped tomatoes, I always add about ¼ cup of water to the can to catch any remaining tomatoes then pour that into the saucepan. Stir well.
5. Now pour in the stock, give it a good stir then simmer over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes before adding the orzo. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the orzo is al dente. You will need to stir the soup often now to ensure the orzo doesn't stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
6. Finally, turn off the heat and stir in the spinach and a squeeze of lemon juice, the spinach will wilt quickly. Leave to cool slightly before serving.
- Cook the onion, carrot and celery for at least 15 minutes. This will soften the veggies up and release the sweetness from the red onion.
- I like the kick of the chilli flakes, you can add more if you want more of a kick. If you are serving this to younger kids you may want to reduce the amount of red pepper flakes or omit them altogether.
- For the stock, I tend to use a low-sodium vegan stock. Vegetable bouillon works very well too.
- When you add the orzo it will drop to the bottom of the soup so it really is important to keep stirring it. If you don't it will stick to the bottom of the pan.
- I use fresh spinach when I make this, you can use frozen if you wish but you will have to reduce the amount of the stock and you may not get the same results.
🔄 Variations & Substitutions
- If you can't find orzo any other small type of pasta will work well too. Fregola or margheritine pasta would be great options.
- Swap the orzo for brown rice or white rice for a tasty variation that's still very satisfying.
- This is a very adaptable soup so it's great for adding in more fresh vegetables. Try swapping the spinach for other leafy greens such as kale. Or try adding courgettes (zucchini) or green beans.
- If you want to add some protein to this soup try adding chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or other white beans like cannellini beans or butter beans.
- You could also switch up the flavour of this soup by swapping the herbs for some fresh herbs like fresh rosemary, thyme and a couple of bay leaves for a more Mediterranean flavour.
🧑🍳 Making Ahead and Storing
You can make this soup a day or two ahead of time if you need to. I recommend not adding the orzo to the soup until you are ready to serve it as the starch from the orzo will thicken the soup thick. I also would leave the spinach out until you are ready to serve it. You can store any leftovers in the fridge for a day or two. You will need to add a little water or vegetable stock to it when you are reheating it.
You can freeze this soup. You may find some change in the texture though due to the pasta. If you can freeze it before you add the spinach then I would. Store it in the freezer for up to 3 months and leave it to defrost in the fridge overnight before you need to use it.
Orzo is a thin, oval, rice-shaped pasta. In Italy, orzo is classified as pastina or "little pasta," which is a category of very small types of pasta.
Yes you can, you will have to slightly adjust the time for cooking it though as whole-wheat past tends to take longer to cook. You should also be aware that it may alter the taste of this soup too. I really feel that regular orzo is best here, but it's up to you.
🍲 More Tasty Soup Recipes
- Vegan Minestrone Soup - Hearty and packed with veggies this vegan Minestrone Soup is delicious and comforting and really easy to make.
- Creamy Vegetarian Tortellini Soup - Creamy, cheesy and packed full of flavour, this soup is like a big hug in a bowl. Made with a creamy tomato base and tender spinach and ricotta tortellini.
- Vegetable Barley Soup - Packed with vegetables and pearl barley in a flavourful broth, this soup is easy to make and so tasty.
- Roasted Carrot and Fennel Soup - Made with just a few simple ingredients this vegan soup is perfect for lunch or as a starter for a special occasion meal.
Vegetable Orzo Soup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium red onion (145g) finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots peeled then finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced or put through a garlic press
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon of dried red chilli flakes
- 1 medium red bell pepper pith and seeds removed, then chopped into smallish chunks
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper pith and seeds removed, then chopped into smallish chunks
- 1 14.5oz can of / 1 x 400g can diced/chopped tomatoes + ¼ cup of water to catch any tomatoes left in the can
- ½ cup of orzo (100g) dry weight
- 5 cups of /1 litre of low sodium vegetable stock made with 2 vegan vegetable stock cubes
- 3 cups / 60g of baby spinach
- ½ teaspoon salt + a pinch for adding to the onions at the beginning of cooking
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more for serving
- The juice of half a lemon
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the chopped onion, carrot celery and a pinch of salt.Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often. The onion should be soft.
- Add three minced cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, half a teaspoon of dried coriander adn a pinch of red chilli flakes to the pan then cook for about a minute. Add the chopped red bell peppers then stir well.Pour 1 can of chopped/diced tomatoes into the pan. Add about a quarter cup of water to the can and give it a swirl to catch any remaining tomatoes. Pour the water into the pan also.
- Pour the stock into the pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally.Add the orzo to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring all the time.
- Once the orzo is al dente turn off the heat then stir in the spinach and the lemon juice.Leave to cool slightly before serving.
- Onions - I use red onion to make this soup. I have made it with yellow onion with similar results.
- Sweating the veggies - if you can try and sweat the onion, carrot and celery for at least 15 minutes. I have made this soup without doing this and the result was just not the same.
- Orzo - Resist the temptation to add more orzo! I have tested this recipe with 1 cup and 1 + ½ a cup of dry orzo and both were way too much and the result was not a soup. Half a cup or 100g is the perfect amount.
- Stirring - It is really important to stir the soup as much as you can once you add the orzo. The dry orzo will sink to the bottom of the soup and will stick to the bottom of the pan if you don't stir it.
- Can I make this gluten-free? You will have to switch the orzo to gluten-free pasta and make sure the stock you use is gluten-free.
- Nutritional Information - all nutritional information shared is an estimate based on third-party calculations. If calorie count and/or nutritional values are important to you, we recommend putting the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary depending on which brands were used. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
- Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible for the best results.
*First published Oct 2019 updated April 2023 with new images and more information