Last Updated on August 28, 2020 by Stephanie
This vegetable orzo soup recipe is packed with vegetables and flavor. Mushrooms, carrots, ginger, garlic, lemon and more, this is the perfect comforting soup when you’re feeling sick or just want a hearty vegetable soup!
The ingredients in this vegetable orzo soup are mostly pantry staples and common vegetables most have on hand. When it comes to soups, flavor is always #1 on my list of priorities. I love using bouillon to add umami to a dish. Umami is said to be the 5th category of taste (sweet, sour, salty, bitter) and is so important in soup! The cubes are always good, but I have to tell you the ‘Better Than Bouillon’ paste is SO good!
I chopped baby bella mushrooms and yellow onion. Next I peeled two carrots, garlic, and ginger. One of my favorite hacks for peeling ginger is using a spoon. This allows you to quickly peel the ginger and get into those crevices, without losing the good stuff inside.
I grated the carrots, garlic, and ginger using a microplane. Why grate the vegetables? It not only gives the soup great texture/body, but all the ingredients blend together more seamlessly in the soup. It’s also a great arm workout!
Cooking the soup
I soften the onions first in some olive oil, then I add in the mushrooms. Resist the urge to add more olive oil to the mushrooms. When cooked, mushrooms release liquid. Allow them to sweat it out then the liquids will evaporate with the heat of the pan, allowing the mushrooms to crisp up.
After, add the carrots and then comes the lemon. I love the bright note lemon adds to soups. I start with two lemons, you can add more later depending on your taste preference.
Next the broth. You can use chicken broth or vegetable broth . Make note that depending on what type of broth you use, will influence the color of this soup. When I use chicken broth it turns out more clear, but when I use vegetable broth it is more orange.
I always say if rice and pasta had a baby, it would be orzo. I love using orzo, it is so versatile. One of my most popular recipes on the site utilizes orzo, my greek orzo pasta salad.
I actually cook my orzo in the soup, instead of separately. It soaks up all of the flavors that we developed with the base. Because we are cooking it in the soup, I use extra broth to allow for the orzo to soak some up. Bring the broth to a boil and add in the orzo. Lower to simmer and cover for 20 minutes to cook the pasta and develop flavor. After 3 minutes, run your spoon on the bottom of the pot in case the orzo get stuck.
Finishing the soup
After simmering the vegetable orzo soup for 20 minutes, add in freshly chopped parsley. This is the perfect time to taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary, you can add more fresh ground black pepper, lemon, or salt.
Ladle the soup into bowls and enjoy! I serve with either sliced french baguette or soup crackers! I hope you enjoy this comforting bowl of vegetable orzo soup.
Love soup? Try one of these recipes:
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Hot Italian Sausage White Bean Soup
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
- Vegan Mushroom Soup
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- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ yellow or white onion, chopped (½ cup)
- 2 medium carrots, grated (about ¾ cup)
- 1 inch ginger, peeled & grated
- 6 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 ½ cups chopped baby portabella mushrooms
- 2 lemons, juiced (can add another lemon later to taste)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ½ quarts low sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth [see note]
- 2 tbsp better than bouillon paste or 2 bouillon cubes
- 8 ounces orzo
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- kosher salt to taste
- Serve with: sliced baguette or soup crackers
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot, over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and diced onion. Sauté for 3 minutes until it begins to soften. Add in the chopped mushrooms, freshly ground black pepper, thyme, and oregano. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until mushrooms have released juices and they have begun to cook off. Add in the garlic, ginger, and grated carrots and sauté for two additional minutes until the garlic is fragrant.
- Squeeze the juice of two lemons into the pot, then add in the 2 ½ quarts of broth. Turn the heat to medium/high and add in the bouillon. Once boiling, add in the orzo pasta and lower the heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes (after a few minutes run your spoon on the bottom of the pot to loosen any orzo that might have stuck).
- After 20 minutes of simmering, add in the chopped parsley, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (lemon, pepper, kosher salt). Serve with sliced baguette or soup crackers.
- Color of soup will vary with type of broth you use. Some vegetable broth's are carrot based so broth will be more orange. If using chicken broth, soup will be more clear.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 277