One-Pot Wonders

Lemon and Spinach Orzo Soup

December  7, 2015
5 Stars
Photo by Supper With Michelle - Michelle Braxton
Author Notes

Now, when I first started making this soup, I was thinking of a soup like "Chicken Noodle" minus the chicken obviously, with a good ol' Mirepoix base. And then as it started coming together, I thought, "Oooohhhh some cream would go really nicely in this"....and then the lemon came to mind....and then I decided to throw in a little spinach.

I will have to remember this soup, if I'm ever feeling under the weather. It's the perfect feel good pick me up type of soup. And I imagine it will also be great for nursing a cold by adding a little turmeric to it and leaving out any dairy products. —Supper With Michelle - Michelle Braxton

  • Serves 3 -4
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons A good Olive Oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 2 Medium Carrots (sliced)
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion (diced)
  • 1 - 2 Stalks of Celery (finely chopped)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • 1 pinch Red Chili Flakes (optional)
  • 5 - 6 cups Vegetable Broth (or water)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cups Orzo Pasta
  • 1 cup Half and Half Milk (Can be substituted with a heavy non-dairy milk such as coconut milk to make this soup vegan)
  • 1 - 2 small Lemons (zest 1 Lemon - and you'll use the juice of this one in the soup)
  • 2 - 3 cups Spinach (lightly packed, hard stems removed, and roughly chopped if needed)
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • Optional Toppings/Ingredients:
  • A "good" freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (1/4 cup)
  • Finely Chopped Herbs such as: Parsley or Basil
  • Kale or Swiss Chard can be substituted for the Spinach
In This Recipe
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil on a low - medium heat, add in carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and red chili flakes. Sauté for 5 - 10 minutes or until onions become translucent. Pour in vegetable broth and turn heat up just a bit and bring soup to a boil. Then add in your Orzo and let that boil for about 8 - 10 minutes until pasta is almost done cooking. Then bring heat back down to a low simmer, and stir in half and half, spinach, lemon zest, and the juice from one lemon(no seeds). Taste and add in salt and pepper to your liking. Allow to simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so. Plate up your bowls and garnish with a thin slice or two of lemon(seeds removed) and/or any other toppings that you'd like. **If you want to add in Parmesan Cheese, I would suggest adding that in a few minutes before you add in your spinach, so that it has time to melt. If not, it will cling to your spinach. Or you can just sprinkle a little on top of each dish as you serve them.** **The pasta will absorb a lot of your liquid so, if it gets too thick, then add a little more water in to thin it out a bit.**

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • Supper With Michelle - Michelle Braxton
    Supper With Michelle - Michelle Braxton
  • Abby
  • Rebecca Johnson
    Rebecca Johnson

15 Reviews

Abby June 6, 2022
I adore this soup. I make it at least once a month.
Rebecca J. January 12, 2021
This was delicious! I made a few substitutions based on what I had (chicken for veggie stock, pearl cous cous for orzo), and I will make this again and again. It was bright with the lemon, and the cream was a wonderful addition. I garnished with some parmesan cheese and green onions, and it looked almost too pretty in the bowl to eat!
Erica November 7, 2018
made this with farro instead of orzo... had to cook about 10 min longer but gave it a great texture.
Kim W. November 3, 2018
This is an amazing recipe. I have made it probably 1x/month for the last 2 years and it's always a hit!
eliza October 6, 2018
Hmm. Everything sounds good, except the cream. Will the soup hold up without it? My honeypie dislikes cream soups, so I go with clear broth instead. Thoughts?
Rebecca J. January 12, 2021
I know I'm super late to commenting here, but although there is cream, it's still a very brothy soup. It's not at all thick in consistency like a traditional cream soup, and the lemon makes it taste so light and bright! Even using less milk/cream, like half a cup or so, might make a difference.
cooking W. May 29, 2017
So delicious! This is definitely in my favorites! Thank you for the wonderfully different soup ☺
Alex May 17, 2016
Very good soup- nice and lemony! I used chicken broth instead of vegetable. I'll definitely be making this again!
Supper W. May 24, 2016
Oh that's so awesome! Thank you...glad you enjoyed it. :)
LeBec F. January 17, 2016
michelle, i really thought this was terrific! I just added a touch of tamari and a touch more lemon juice. We both loved it and it's going to be a new regular dish, so thx so much.
Supper W. January 26, 2016
Wonderful!! So happy to hear that! Thanks again!! :)
LeBec F. December 26, 2015
yay, you're in the running! and i'm gonna test it!i'm so psyched!
Supper W. December 26, 2015
Awesome! Thanks so much!! :)
LeBec F. December 8, 2015
i am a fool for lemon, and this looks really lovely. Avgolemeno never really wowed me but this one, w/ the orzo helping to thicken the broth- I will be making soon. THX much. Nice photo work too!
Supper W. December 9, 2015
Thanks so much!!