Green Vegetable Soup with Lemon-Basil Pesto

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

Covering the pot when bringing the liquid to a simmer gets this soup ready even faster.

Yield: Serves 4
Recipe from Cooking Light

More From Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 189
  • Fat: 5.6g
  • Saturated fat: 1.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbohydrate: 24.4g
  • Fiber: 6.6g
  • Cholesterol: 2mg
  • Iron: 3.2mg
  • Sodium: 522mg
  • Calcium: 136mg


  • 3/4 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 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


  1. 1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. 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

My Notes

Only you will be able to view, print, and edit this note.

Add Note

Green Vegetable Soup with Lemon-Basil Pesto Recipe at a Glance
  1. Enter at least one ingredient

Find out what we've got cooking...

Weekly Specials
Get our Free Weekly Specials Newsletter filled with our favorite recipes, seasonal menus, and special features.
We Respect Your Privacy. Privacy Policy