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
3–4 tablespoons tahini (optional, for serving)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
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 ⅓ 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.
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.