Vegetable Orzo Soup is a tasty and filling soup. Perfect for chilly days, this soup is packed with veggies, spinach, and orzo. It’s great for dinner or lunch.
This vegetable orzo soup is perfect for when the weather gets chilly. It’s packed with flavour, with a tomato base, lots of herbs and a little kick from the chilli. It’s filling enough to serve as a main meal due to the orzo in it. I happily have this on its own with a little grating of cheese or if I’m really hungry with some good crusty bread. That’s all you need with this soup, it really is a complete meal.
How to Make Vegetable Orzo Soup – Step by Step
- Cook the onion, carrot and celery with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. This takes time, so stir it often so it doesn’t catch and burn. You should have soft onion and celery and tender carrot.
- Add the garlic, oregano and red chilli flakes. They only need a minute or two, until the garlic releases its aroma.
- Next, add the chopped tomatoes and chopped pepper. I always add about 1/4 cup of water to the can to catch any remaining tomatoes then pour that into the saucepan.
- Now pour in the stock. Add the fresh thyme and seasoning now too. Give everything a good stir.
- Almost there, next add the orzo. Now 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 almost continuously now to ensure the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
- Finally, turn off the heat and stir in the spinach. It will wilt quickly. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and a generous grating of vegetarian parmesan cheese.
Tips for Making your Best Vegetable Orzo Soup
- If you can, cook the onion, carrot and celery for at least 15 minutes. This will soften the veggies up and the release the sweetness from the red onion. I add a little salt to help it along.
- I like the kick of the chilli flakes, you can add more if you want more of a kick. The amount I use is just enough for my 13-year-old to tolerate, if you are serving this to younger kids you may want to reduce the chilli or omit it altogether.
- For the stock, I tend to use a low sodium vegetarian 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 the stock and you may not get the same results.
Making Ahead and Storing
You can make this soup a day ahead 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 make the soup thick and a little sticky. I also would leave the spinach out until you are ready to serve it. You can store any leftover in the fridge for a day or two. You may need to add a little water to it when you are reheating it. I reheat this on the hob.
Can I Freeze Vegetable Orzo Soup?
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 to defrost in the fridge overnight before you need to use it.
Need more tasty dinner ideas?
- Butter Bean Stew
- Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry
- Vegetable Fajitas
- Autumn Squash Soup
- Spinach and Feta Pizza
Vegetable Orzo Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red onion (145g) finely chopped
- 1 stalk of celery finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp of dried red chilli flakes
- 1 medium red bell pepper pith and seeds removed, then chopped into smallish chunks
- 1 14.5oz can of diced/chopped tomatoes (1x 400g can) + 1/4 cup of water to catch any tomatoes left in the can
- 1/2 cup of orzo (100g) dry weight
- 5 cups of low sodium vegetable stock (1.2 litres)
- 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 3 cups of spinach (60g)
- 1/2 tsp salt divided
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- chopped parsley for serving (optional)
- grated vegetarian parmesan cheese optional
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the chopped onion, carrot celery and 1/4 teaspoon of salt then cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often. The onion should be soft along with the carrot and celery.
- Add three minced cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano and 1/4 teaspoon of dried red chilli flakes to the pan then cook for about a minute. Pour 1 can of chopped/diced tomatoes into the pan. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the can, give it a swirl to catch any remaining tomatoes. Pour the water into the pan also.Add the chopped red bell pepper then stir well.
- Pour the stock into the pan along with half a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of cracked black pepper.Add the orzo to the soup. Bring the soup to the 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.
- Serve with grated vegetarian parmesan and some chopped parsley.
- Nutritional Information - is approximate and is calculated using an online tool. It does not include any grated vegetarian parmesan.
- Onions - I use red onion to make this soup. I have made it with yellow onion with similar results.
- Sweating the veggies - if youc an 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 +1/2 a cup of dry orzo and both were way too much and the result was not a soup. 1/2 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.
- Is this soup vegan? This soup is vegan, I haven't classified it as bvegan as I add cheese to the finnished dish.
- Can I make this gluten-free? You will have to switch the orzo to a gluten-free pasta and make sure the stock you use in gluten-free.