Covering the pot when bringing the liquid to a simmer gets this soup ready even faster.
1/2 cup uncooked orzo
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks (about 2)
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup water
3 thyme sprigs
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1/4 pound)
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups baby spinach leaves, divided
1/4 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
How to Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
While pasta cooks, heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add leeks, celery, 2 teaspoons garlic, and salt; sauté 5 minutes. Add stock, 1 cup water, and thyme. Cover; bring to a boil. Add peas and beans, and simmer, uncovered, 4 minutes. Discard thyme. Stir in pasta and 1 cup spinach.
Place 1 cup spinach, basil, cheese, rind, juice, 1 teaspoon garlic, and 2 teaspoons oil in a food processor; process until smooth. Divide soup among 4 bowls; top with pesto.
MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.
I cannot get enough of this soup. I personally like a brothy soup, so I was sure to cook the orzo separately & then added it individually to the soup bowls before ladling in the hot soup. This kept the leftovers brothy still for the next day. If you want a thicker soup add the orzo when you're cooking the vegetables. The spinach/basil/lemon pesto was a MUST - I doubled the pesto ingredients in this recipe - I loved how the citrus in the pesto brightened all of the flavors of the soup.
I changed this a lot. I used faro instead of orzo, which I cooked first and then added. I used white wine instead of water. I used salted chicken stock, which took care of the needed salt. I did not make the pesto, but instead added all of the ingredients to the soup except the lemon rind and the Parmesan. I served this with grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top and lemon wedges in case anyone wanted to add some extra zing. Everyone loved it. I will make it again.
Soup is my favorite thing to make so trust me, this is a delicious soup! Pretty much followed the recipe but cooked the orzo in the soup instead of cooking it separately. I had the time and didn't want to wash an extra pot. Made it a little thicker then the picture but that's how we like our soups. Don't skip the pesto. It gave the dish such a bright flavor. Made it in my mini processor and had to add a little extra oil to get it to blend properly. So good!
Wow! This was great even without the pesto. I made it, but didn't add on top as I am fighting a cold and its fragrance just wasn't appealing. This absolutely took more like an hour, and it needs more water added after the orzo addition. I sprinkled salt into the bowl and then it was quite perfect. Much more than 3 servings left over as well, it must be for 6.
This soup was a major hit. Even my 5 year old who HATES soups ate this willingly. It was fresh and tasty. I substituted Great Northern Beans for the cannellini which I think made it even better. Cannellini can sometimes be dry and slighly chalky to me. G.N. beans were really creamy and good in this. Also, I think the nutritional info was off. I usually plug in my ingredients into an app, and this one came out almost twice, so I think it was supposed to serve 6 instead of 4. With the orzo and beans, there is no way it is 189 calories pp for 4 people. It was a lot, so maybe it was a typo for 6 servings. There wasn't an estimated serving size listed for this one either.
Very healthy soup, but I agree with others that it lacked salt. I did add sriracha to my servings and it added that little something that was missing. I used leftover roasted green beans and a combo of spinach, kale and swiss chard. The leftovers were very good, but as with soups containing pasta requires adding some water to loosen it up. Will probably make again with a tweak or two.