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Garden Vegetable Orzo Soup

Garden Vegetable Orzo Soup Recipe By: Cece Kirkwood This post may contain affiliate links.

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Mmmm. Soup. A good soup can feel akin to a warm hug from one of your favorite people. This Garden Vegetable Orzo Soup is just that. 

The recipe stems from the soup my mom would always make for me after Thanksgiving to take back to college. She would take my Tofurkey (yes I do eat Tofurkey instead of Turkey and yes I do love it), chop it up and throw it into a veggie broth along with whatever veggies and potatoes she ended up making that year. Then, for the next week, I would heat up a bowl of her soup and just breathe in the warmth and love. 

So why not bring that warmth to your normal everyday dinners? This Garden Vegetable Orzo soup includes hearty, lightly cooked vegetables that provide the perfect amount of crunch. Topping the soup with kale will provide a load of nutrients that will keep you full and thriving. And the seasonings can be adjusted to taste – I like a little bit of heat in my soup, so there are red pepper flakes added in the recipe below

But enough of all that… let’s dig in, shall we?

The Process

Prepare your work area by bringing out a medium sized pot for pasta, a large pot for the soup, a cutting board, knife and all the ingredients. 

Begin by boiling water in the medium pot and cooking the orzo as instructed on the box. While the orzo is cooking, chop up all the veggies and set aside. 

In a cast iron or large pot, heat a few tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic! It can happen fast!

Next, add in the strips of onion and cook until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Toss your seasonings into the soup, as well as the carrots and celery. Give everything a nice stir and cook for another 4 minutes.

Slowly pour the vegetable stock and water into the pot. Then stir, cover the pot and leave to simmer for 4 minutes. Remove the lid and give the soup another stir before adding in the corn and the orzo. Cover and simmer for another 3 minutes.

Add in chopped kale. If you are adding in any pre-cooked protein or potatoes, now would be the time to do so. Reduce the heat and cover and simmer for another 5-7 minutes.

To serve, add a few spoonfuls of the cooked orzo to a bowl and top with the soup. Finish it off with green onions. Serve with a homemade slice of bread and enjoy! 

The Tips

How can I store the soup?

This soup stores well in an airtight container and will last for up to a week. Be sure to store the soup and the orzo separate from one another (see next question for why). To reheat, add a few spoonfuls of orzo to a pot and soup on top. Heat over medium-high heat until she begins to simmer. You may need to add a bit more water or broth as the veggies have a tendency to soak up some of that glorious broth for themselves. 

Why do you cook the orzo separately from the rest of the soup?

Orzo, and well… all pasta is hungry and absorbent. If you plan to make this soup and store the rest to eat throughout the week, you’ll want to keep the orzo separate so it does not soak up all the glorious soup broth. Your veggies will already be doing a little bit of this and the pasta will only speed up that process. 

If I did not want to cook the orzo separately, when should I add it to the soup?

You can add the uncooked orzo to the soup after adding in the broth and water and bringing that to a boil. The orzo will take 8-10 minutes to cook so just make sure you adjust the final steps to allow enough time for the orzo to cook. 

The Garden Vegetable Orzo Soup Recipe

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Garden Vegetable Orzo Soup

  • Author: Cece Kirkwod
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 min
  • Yield: 45 Servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 23 green onions
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 23 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 (12 oz) can corn
  • 32 oz of vegetable stock 
  • 16 oz room temp water 
  • 225g of cooked orzo (about 1/2 of the box) 
  • 23 big handfuls of loosely chopped kale
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper to taste 
  • Optional protein: cooked chicken, turkey or a vegan equivalent
  • Optional: Lightly roasted heirloom potatoes from a dinner earlier in the week

Instructions

  • Cook al dente orzo according to the directions on the box, drain and set aside.

Keywords: Garden Vegetable Soup, Soup

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