This vegan Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup features fresh lemon juice, chickpeas, orzo, and fresh baby greens. Top with tahini for added creaminess! It’s an easy, weeknight soup recipe that’s ready in 30 minutes.

lemon chickpea orzo soup

Add this easy lemon orzo chickpea soup with your weeknight repertoire! This Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup is similar to a vegan chickpea noodle soup, but with a Greek-inspired flare. It’s packed to the brim with chickpeas, orzo, carrots, spinach and flavored heavily with lemon juice and oregano.

What makes this soup really stand out is the lemony broth. It keeps this orzo soup refreshingly light while still being cozy and comforting. Serve with a drizzle of tahini for a boost of healthy fats, minerals and a delicious creaminess that balances out the lemon. This cozy, yet refreshing soup is one you’ll make over and over again throughout the colder months.

Ingredients To make Vegan Lemon Orzo Soup

  • Veggies – onion, carrots, and garlic get sautéed in heart-healthy olive oil.
  • Oregano + thyme – add a Greek-inspired flavor. Feel free to add in rosemary or replace with fresh or dried dill.
  • Vegetable broth – since this recipe calls for 6-7 cups of broth, I typically use one 32 oz container of vegetable broth and 2-3 cups of water. Feel free to use all broth if you’d like. Don’t worry about having leftover broth. You’ll need to add a little bit of broth or water when reheating since the soup thickens as it sits.
  • Chickpeas – adds fiber and plant-based protein. Blending the chickpeas and broth also adds a slight creaminess to the soup.
  • Orzo – feel free to use regular, whole wheat or gluten-free orzo. You can also sub a rice made from chickpeas or lentils for more plant-based protein. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly.
  • LemonSunkist® lemons add a bright, fresh flavor. You’ll need 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from 2-3 Sunkist® lemons.
  • Spinach – adding greens never hurts. Plus, the vitamin C from the lemon helps your body absorb the plant-based iron found in spinach. Sub kale or another hearty green like Swiss chard.
  • Tahini – adding a drizzle of tahini to the top of each bowl add a delicious creaminess to the soup and balances out the brightness of the lemon. Lemon and tahini pair wonderfully together (like in this tahini dressing) so while this is optional, I highly highly recommend it.
  • Sea salt + fresh cracked pepper – after the soup has finished cooking, taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference. You may need to adjust upon reheating as well, since the pasta absorbs some of the liquid and flavor as it sits.
pot of lemon chickpea orzo soup

How to Make Lemon chickpea orzo soup

This soup comes together in less than thirty minutes making it an easy weeknight dinner. Here’s how to make this vegan lemon chickpea orzo soup.

Sauté the veggies. Soften the onion and carrots in a little olive oil. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic and spices and let cook till fragrant; about 1 minute.

Add the broth, chickpeas. Stir in the broth and chickpeas to create the base on the soup.

Blend a portion of the broth. Use a one cup measuring cup to scoop out two cups of soup, making sure to get both the broth and chickpeas. Add to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the pureed soup back into the pot. You can also use an immersion blender to blend 1/3 of the soup. This will only take a few seconds. While optional, it’s highly recommended to give some body and extra creaminess to the soup.

Simmer and add the orzo. Bring the soup to a simmer. Add the orzo and cook for 7-10 minutes or until tender. Make sure to stir occasionally so the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

Add the finishing touches. Add in the spinach and lemon juice, and stir until the spinach is wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

This lemon orzo soup stores well. Just keep in mind the orzo absorbs liquid the longer it sits. You’ll need to add broth or water to thin upon reheating.

    • Refrigerator: Store leftover soup in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
    • Freezer: Like most soups, this lemon orzo soup is freezer friendly. Let the soup cool completely, then place in a freezer safe container or ziplock bag. Make sure to leave ½ inch of space at the top of containers to space for expansion. If using a ziplock, make sure to remove as much air as possible before laying flat to freeze. Let soup thaw in the fridge before reheating.
    • Reheat: Warm leftover soup on the stovetop over medium-low heat until soup reaches a simmer. Alternatively, reheat the soup in the microwave until warm.
lemon chickpea orzo soup with tahini drizzle

hands hold bowl lemon chickpea orzo sup

Nourished by Nutrition Facts:

Lemon Nutrition

Lemons add a bright and refreshing flavor to nearly any dish. They back a zesty flavor and bright, floral aroma which balances a dish or can take center stage depending on the recipe. From flavoring soups and salad dressings to being the start ingredient in these roasted potatoes or lemon bars, lemon flavor is extremely versatile. Plus, lemons have numerous health benefits!

One medium Sunkist® lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C, containing at least 25% of the daily recommended value. It also contains fiber and small amounts of B6, folate, calcium, and iron. (1)

Lemons also contain numerous antioxidants that can have powerful health benefits. The main antioxidant compounds include citric acid, hesperidin, diosmin, and d-limonene. While each of these compounds has its unique properties, there have been links to lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer, and kidney stones. (2) (3) (4)

Lemons are available year-round making it easy to add a bright flavor and nutrition to your meals. Plus, adding lemon juice or lemon zest is a great sodium-free way to add flavor to meals. No extra salt needed!

lemon chickpea orzo soup with tahini drizzle

More Lemon Recipes

If you make this recipe, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe below to let me know how you liked it. You can also tag #nourishedbynutriton on Instagram with your creations!

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Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup

  • Author: Jessica Bippen
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon pepper
6-7 cups vegetable broth or water (I use 4 cup broth + 2-3 cups filtered water)
1 cup whole wheat orzo (see notes)
2 ,15 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
⅓ cup freshly squeezed Sunkist® lemon juice (2 Sunkist® lemons)
2 large handful fresh baby spinach
34 tablespoons tahini (optional, for serving)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions

In a large pot, heat olive oil medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add onion and carrot, sauté until onions are translucent; about 5 – 7 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute more.

Add the chickpeas, broth and water. To add creaminess, scoop out two cup of the soup making sure to include some chickpeas. Add to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the blended soup back into the pot. You can also use an immersion blend to blend of the soup. This will only take a few seconds.

Bring the soup to a boil. Add the orzo and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook at a low boil for 8-10 minutes, or until orzo is tender. Remove from heat, lemon juice and spinach. Stir and let the greens wilt. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

To reheat, add more broth or water till desired consistency is reached. Heat on the stove until the soup comes to a simmer and is heated through.

Notes

Orzo substitution: feel free to use regular, whole wheat or gluten-free orzo. For a higher protein soup,  Right Rice or Banza are great options. You may have to add a few minutes of cooking times and an extra cup of broth or water.

Broth + water: The soup will thicken as it sits due to the pasta absorbing the liquid. Start with 6 cups total of broth (or broth + water combo) and adjust as needed.

 

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #nourishedbynutriton and #MySunkistTableYou can also find this recipe on https://www.sunkist.com/recipes/lemon-chickpea-orzo-soup/


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