Creamy Lemon Orzo Soup

August 6, 2022

Creamy Lemon Orzo Soup

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This creamy lemon orzo soup uses an untraditional ingredient to add creaminess. Beans are blended for a low fat substitute for cream.

 

Soup Sunday is a thing at our house.  For many reasons – soup is generally easy to make and it makes a lot!  So for us it’s a way to have dinner that night and healthy lunches for the week.  Plus it’s a way to really load in veggies not only for us but for our four year old.  So this past Soup Sunday I whipped up a version of this “creamy” lemon orzo soup.

A bowl of creamy lemon orzo soup with lemons in the background

Creamy without milk

When I was in my twenties I didn’t cook with heavy cream or butter.  I thought it was “too fattening”…. If I could go back to my twenty year old self I would tell her heavy cream and butter isn’t going to kill her or make her fat!  Plus – they are delicious and add lots of good flavor to dishes.  Moderation, moderation, moderation!

But as good as they are there are some dishes where you just don’t need it.  So if you are looking to save some calories or if you are vegan, lactose intolerant etc. I have a way to make a soup “creamy” without the cream – with BEANS!

Beans?  Yes BEANS!  I learned this trick from a friend before when making lentil soup.  First I take 2 cans of cannellini beans (you could use Great Northern beans here too!) because they are in fact creamy.  I place them in my Nutribullet and blend them up.  The key here is to leave all the liquid they came in otherwise you would just have a thick bean mess that probably wouldn’t blend.

Once my soup is cooking that bean mixture gets added to the soup which thickens it slightly.  Not only are you making a soup creamy you also get all the added protein of the beans.  Additionally they are high in copper, iron and folate so you are getting a lot of vitamins and nutrients when consuming beans.  Blending the beans is really good for picky eaters too who might not like beans but will never know they are in there!

A bowl of lemon orzo soup with lemons in the background

Fresh herbs = fresh flavor

Whenever I cook soup I love using fresh herbs and aromatics.  This soup is no exception.  I think the flavor of fresh herbs is better than their dried counterparts and just give the soup a nice something extra.

This soup uses a ton of lemons.  Lemons are always nostaligic to me.  We got married in Sorrento, Italy which is the lemon capital of the world.  Every time I cook with lemons I am transported back to that magical place.  This soup uses lemons a few times.  I add fresh lemon juice to the beans before blending.  That lemon flavor gets cooked into the soup as everything is simmering.  Then at the very end I hit the soup with a little more fresh squeezed lemon just for a little extra.

Thyme is one of my favorite herbs and it pairs so nicely with lemons.  I like to make a little herb bouquet.  I tie up fresh thyme and a few bay leaves and put it in the soup right at the start.  However if you don’t have twine you can tear the leaves off of the thyme sprigs as well.  Hold one end of the herb and pull the leaves down to strip them from the stem.  Whatever way you choose to use the thyme be sure it’s fresh!

A bowl of lemon orzo soup with lemons in the background

So the next time you are craving a creamy soup be sure to try this “creamy” lemon orzo soup out.  And remember when you do be sure to rate and comment below and tag me on Instagram!

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A bowl of creamy lemon orzo soup with lemons in the background

“Creamy” Lemon Orzo Soup


  • Author: Karissa P
  • Total Time: 40M
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

This creamy lemon orzo soup uses an untraditional ingredient to add creaminess. Beans are blended for a low fat substitute for cream.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 68 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 c grated carrots
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 medium zucchini (3 if small), grated
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 c orzo pasta
  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 68 c veggie or chicken broth 
  • 34 lemons
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach, chopped small

Instructions

  1. With kitchen twine tie up fresh sprigs of thyme (6-8) with 2 bay leaves
  2. In a large soup pot sauté carrots, celery, onion, garlic and the herb bundle with 1 TBS of olive oil over medium to medium low heat for 12-15 minutes until onions and celery are soft
  3. Add in 6 cups of broth and zucchini turn heat up to medium high
  4. In a blender blend the beans and the juice of 2-3 lemons (should be about 1/2 c of juice)
  5. Once soup is at a gentle boil add in orzo and bean puree, turn heat down to medium-medium low, season with salt and pepper
  6. Cook until pasta is done (check the package to see how long, I find sometimes cooking in the soup takes a little longer than the package says)
  7. Once orzo is cooked stir in spinach, cook a few minutes until wilted
  8. Squeeze the juice of the last lemon in at the end
  9. If the soup is too thick stir in the remaining broth to thin out to your liking

Notes

  • Check the sodium content of your broth.  I buy low sodium and then add salt as many of the store bought broths tend to be very sodium heavy.  If your broth already has salt go easy seasoning your soup as it will probably salty enough.
  • This soup would also be good with shredded chicken – a rotisserie chicken would be a good time saver
  • Prep Time: 10M
  • Cook Time: 30M
  • Category: soup

Keywords: soup, orzo, veggies, lemons

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