Quick Lemon Orzo Soup
Lemon Orzo Soup is light, healthy and wholesome. It uses common pantry ingredients, is a little like risotto that meets soup, and is packed with incredible Mediterranean flavors. Plus, this oh-so-simple to make soup is ready in minutes.
Do you love soup? I imagine you do! It’s a food group for me. And something I make all year.
When do you make Lemon Orzo Soup?
For me, I love to make it all year. When the weather is chilly, and I’m seeking cozy, healthy goodness, while wrapped in a warm sweater… and dreaming of spring! Or when the weather is warm and lemon is top of mind.
So I guess the answer is, Lemon Orzo Soup is appropriate whenever you’re craving bright sunny crisp flavors of lemon with savory Mediterranean notes. Anytime of the year!
Why you’ll love it
This Lemon Orzo Soup is a comforting bowl of nourishing ingredients that’s incredibly simple to make. It’s not heavy but it is satisfying. Ideal anytime you’re craving a cozy bowl of soup with bright flavors.
What is orzo pasta?
If you haven’t cooked with orzo, you’re in for a treat. It’s a small, rice-shaped pasta that cooks quickly in less time. And I love the creamy texture it brings to so many recipes.
In this case we’re treating it almost like risotto and you’ll see the easy method I use to make this happen!
If you love, orzo, you may also enjoy Greek Roasted Chicken with Lemon Orzo or Mediterranean Greek Chicken and Orzo Skillet.
For soup recipes, you might also want to try Minestrone Soup with Orzo and Kale.
Lemon Orzo Soup Ingredients
Here’s what you need to make this simple utterly delicious soup I’m loving this season. Exact ingredient measurements are in the recipe card below:
- Olive oil for sauteing vegetables and butter for flavor and texture
- Aromatics: carrots, celery, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes for a bit of mild heat, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, salt, and pepper
- Dry orzo pasta
- Vegetable broth, or chicken broth if you prefer
- Greens like arugula, kale, or spinach
- Milk, which can be dairy milk, cream, half and half or full-fat coconut milk for the best creamy texture
- Fresh lemon for juice and zest
- For serving, fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese
How to Make Lemon Orzo Soup
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full instructions are in the recipe card below.
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven and sauté onion, celery, carrots, garlic and chili flakes until softened. Then add the butter and stir in the orzo. Sauté and toast the orzo until golden.
Pour in the broth, Italian seasoning, and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until the orzo is al dente, stirring frequently.
Stir in the milk parmesan, greens, and lemon. Cook until few minutes or until the greens are wilted and the soup is warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and you’re ready to serve!
A nice variation is to add cooked chicken to the soup, making this a Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, very much like traditional, only elevated!
If you have leftovers
This soup makes fanastic lunches with any leftovers you may have. One note, though, the orzo tends to soak up the broth when stored in the refrigerator. You’ll want to add additional broth to thin before reheating.
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Lemon Orzo Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 carrots medium-sized, peeled and chopped finely
- 2 celery ribs chopped finely
- 1/2 onion medium-sized, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup dry orzo pasta
- 6 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 bunch greens like arugula, kale, or spinach
- 1/2 cup milk (whole, half and half, or full-fat coconut milk)
- 1 lemon for juice and zest
- fresh parsley for serving
- Parmesan cheese for serving
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic and chili flakes; cook until fragrant and softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the butter and stir in the orzo. Sauté until golden; 1 to 3 minutes.
- Pour in the broth, Italian seasoning, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until the orzo is al dente, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the milk parmesan, greens, and lemon. Cook until few minutes or until the greens are wilted and the soup is warmed through.
- Divide the soup among bowls and top with Parmesan, black pepper, and fresh parsley.
Leftovers:The orzo soaks up the broth while stored in the refrigerator. Add additional broth or thin.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.