Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spinach Lemon Orzo Soup

This soup is one that I made several times last fall and winter.  I have already posted one soup this fall and intend on making and eating and posting many more as the season wears on. Needless to say, I’m on what I like to call a kick.  Paul always makes fun of me for saying I’m on kicks.  What do you call it when you are stuck on something?   In truth though, I eat soup all year around.  I love it.  I love trying new kinds and I love the way it makes me feel.  Nothing heals like soup, right?

I absolutely love the flavor of lemon and in this soup it’s fresh and crisp, just like this season.  I love autumn; the trees are beautiful; the cool breezes make me melt and although I don’t like the days being shorter, it gives reason to slow down a little and rest at the end of the day.   The best thing about this soup recipe is that it comes together so quickly and I always have the ingredients on hand.  If you don’t have orzo, you can use any short grain pasta like stars, macaroni, etc.

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Spinach and Lemon Orzo Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 cups packed fresh spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
8 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. cornstarch
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Heat the oil in a large heavy pot or stock pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add the lemon zest, red pepper flakes and thyme and cook another 3 minutes until the onions are tender and translucent. Turn the heat to medium and add the spinach and orzo. Cook for 1 minute and then add the broth and lemon juice.

Bring to a light simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes until the orzo is barely tender. Whisk the water and cornstarch in a small bowl. With the soup at a light boil, whisk in the cornstarch mixture and stir rapidly. Allow the soup to thicken, about 3 minutes.

Serve immediately garnished with freshly grated Parmesan.

Cassie’s Notes:This soup is also great with 1-2 cups of cooked chicken added in. Feel free to use chopped frozen spinach…just make sure you thaw, drain and squeeze out the excess water.

Adapted from The Kitchn


55 Responses to “Spinach Lemon Orzo Soup”

  1. #
    Curt — October 18, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    What a delicious list of ingredients. I could eat that several times a year too!

  2. #
    Deborah — October 18, 2011 @ 8:05 am

    This sounds amazing, and I think I have everything on hand!!

  3. #
    brandi — October 18, 2011 @ 8:06 am

    i’ve had a recipe like this flagged for way too long – i think i need to make it soon.

  4. #
    Bev Weidner — October 18, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    Guuuuurl I am so making this soon. Or right now.

  5. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — October 18, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    I love the kick your on! 🙂 I am all about soup and eat it all year round too! I love trying new soups. I love the combination of ingredients in this. I bet the flavor is fantastic! Looking forward to giving this a try!

  6. #
    marla — October 18, 2011 @ 8:30 am

    Such a great fall soup idea 🙂

  7. #
    RavieNomNoms — October 18, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    That looks fabulous! Orzo is by far my favorite kind of pasta. I think it is so delicious

  8. #
    Samantha @ Ferraro Kitchen — October 18, 2011 @ 10:22 am

    Love this soup!!! I like the addition of chicken..I’d probably add that! I’m in the mood for a lemony soup and this sounds just perfect!

  9. #
    Courtney — October 18, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    This does sound nice and crisp! I totally think a cool spring day when I see this soup but i bet its great for winter to boost a sore throat!

  10. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — October 18, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    Omg Cassie!! This look so so yummy!!

  11. #
    Ramona — October 18, 2011 @ 11:24 am

    This looks warm and and comforting. Perfect for the cooler days ahead. : )

  12. #
    DessertForTwo — October 18, 2011 @ 11:41 am

    This is my alltime favorite soup! seriously!

  13. #
    The Elegant Eggplant — October 18, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

    I looooove this soup!!! I eat soup year round too, I just cant get enough of it….

  14. #
    Diane {Created by Diane} — October 18, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

    lemon orzo soup is one of my favorites, I will have to start adding spinach to it 🙂 I do add chicken and my whole family loves it which is great because that means I can make it more often!

  15. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — October 18, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    You got me on the lemon! This soup looks delicious and perfect for cool weather!

  16. #
    Mandy @ Cater to Me — October 18, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

    Orzo soup always reminds me of my childhood, and it is truly one of my favorite comfort foods…I love your comparison of the crisp lemon to the crisp weather – very true!

  17. #
    CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com/ — October 18, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

    perfect for the colder weather thats about to come to PA! Thanks for another great recipe!

  18. #
    Parsley Sage — October 18, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

    I cannot wait to get home tonight and make this. I’m even gonna go grocery shopping in my stinko workout clothes after spinning for this! Looks fabulous 🙂

  19. #
    Ryan — October 18, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

    I’m loving your soup recipes so keep ’em coming! Soups are the best when its cold out and I love collecting new recipes. This sounds delicious and is definitely going on the list!

  20. #
    Liz — October 18, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

    SO many things I love about this soup…the orzo, spinach, lemon…yum, yum, yum!

  21. #
    Autumn@Good Eats Girl — October 18, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

    This looks amazing! I’m in desperate need of new soup recipes! This is definitely being added to my list!

  22. #
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef — October 18, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

    this sounds so comforting and flavorful!!

  23. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — October 18, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

    I am always on the lookout for new soups so I’m glad for your soup “kick”! This sounds amazing!

  24. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — October 18, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

    This looks so comforting and delicious! I love orzo and lemon and it was a great idea to add the spinach to make this soup even more nutritious! Bookmarked and can’t wait to make it!

  25. #
    Ann — October 18, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    Delicious! As I was reading, I said to myself, “I absolutely love the flavor of lemon in soup” and lo-and-behold…it was the VERY next sentence! The recipe looks delish!

  26. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — October 19, 2011 @ 3:42 am

    It’s so true – I love how ingredients are easily accessible and most of them are in my pantry/fridge! It looks delicious and would love to try this this fall/winter!

  27. #
    Baker Street — October 19, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    Lovely idea for fall! Such great flavors! Its comfort in a bowl!

  28. #
    Angie@Angiesrecipes — October 19, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

    I must make this too as it looks so comforting, homey and tasty!

  29. #
    Tina@flourtrader — October 19, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

    This soup is divine for a chilly evening! I have never seen a recipe like this but the ingredient list does have some great flavors in it. I like lemon chicken, so your suggestion of adding it seems just right. Thanks for sharing.

  30. #
    Sandra's Easy Cooking — October 19, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

    This is amazing soup..very flavorful and refreshing!! Thanks for sharing and have a beautiful day!!!

  31. #
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — October 19, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

    I have a similar recipe that I love…but it does not include the spinach. What a great, additional, healthy touch. I cannot wait to try it!

  32. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — October 19, 2011 @ 8:14 pm

    What a great soup! The lemon sounds great in there. Today would have been perfect soup weather here!

  33. #
    Tessa @ FlexYourFood — October 20, 2011 @ 5:48 am

    I’m also a lover of soups and yours sounds fab! I adore lemon, spinach, and Parmesan together.

  34. #
    Kita — October 20, 2011 @ 8:29 am

    Ive got to try this one. I am on a major soup kick – love an excuse to make it and this one sounds soooo homey!

  35. #
    Edie Galley — October 20, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight the taste is absolutely divine! The orzo pasta is perfect and the lemon flavor makes it seem so rich. I would highly recommend this recipe and I will definitely be making it often.

  36. #
    Anne@frommysweetheart — October 20, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

    Cassie….your post is so timely because I am on an orzo kick lately! It’s like the ‘roni’ in rice a roni and I just love it! I’ve had a lemon based soup one time before and just loved it! So I’m very excited to try this…and continue to my orzo kick!

  37. #
    Sook — October 20, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    I love orzo! I made something similar the other day and loved it! 🙂

  38. #
    Savannah@HammockTracks — October 21, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    I really enjoy making soup. It is 2nd only to my love of baking bread. I can’t wait to try this soup. Would you consider adding it to my link party? Here is the address – http://www.savannahssavorybites.com/2011/10/sweet-potato-custard-with-ginger-snaps.html#idc-container

  39. #
    Anna — October 22, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

    Mmm, this looks so good! I’m always looking for new soups to add to me repertoire, and this is definitely different from my usual ones, I’ll have to give it a try!

  40. #
    Anna — October 22, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

    Ha, I meant *my* repertoire, I don’t always talk like a pirate 🙂

  41. #
    Amy @ A Little Nosh — October 23, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    Summery flavors with the warmth and heartiness of fall. Love it.

    Found you through BasilMomma.

  42. #
    Aggie — October 23, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

    I bet this tastes awesome…I love soup like this, and the lemon makes it sound so light and fresh! Would be great for a quick weeknight meal or two 🙂

  43. #
    sarah — October 24, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

    I was on an ice cream kick this summer but now I’m on a total soup kick. Actually I might be on a consistent soup kick. (Is it still a kick if you always want it?) In any case, this recipe looks fantastic! On my fall must-make list for sure!

  44. #
    Carolyn — October 31, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

    Thanks for linking up, Cassie, but you didn’t see that I already had this in my list of great soups from fellow bloggers ;). Ah well, being listed twice never hurts.

  45. #
    Minnow in Hampton Roads — February 5, 2012 @ 10:04 am

    I made this and couldn’t have been more satisfied! It’s filling and extremely tasty without being heavy. Absolutely perfect! This is a soup I’ll make year-round. Thank you so very much for sharing this incredible recipe.

    • Cassie replied: — February 5th, 2012 @ 11:46 am

      Thanks for the sweet comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It really is one of my favorite soups, we eat it all year round too. Thanks for stopping by!

  46. #
    Priscilla — April 2, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    I’m going to make this for dinner tonight! Thank you!

  47. #
    Anita Mmmmm — September 1, 2012 @ 5:06 am

    I don’t know how I came across this recipe, but I just made it and loved it and can’t believe the flavour sensation that it is. Next time I’m definitely adding the chicken. Thanks heaps – soooo happy!!!

  48. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — November 27, 2012 @ 11:52 am

    I have wanted to make this soup since the day I laid eyes on it and today is finally the day! I can hardly wait to smell it and of course, taste it!

    • Cassie replied: — November 30th, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

      I hope you enjoyed it, this is a favorite of mine; it’s on our menu this week!

  49. #
    Jamie — January 9, 2015 @ 5:34 pm

    I am going to make this for a soup luncheon we have at work every year. The problem is we start work at 7:15 AM and the luncheon is at 11. Would you recommend cooking the orzo separately and adding it just before serving or do you think it would be OK to prepare as is? Also, how many servings would you say this is? The reviews sound awesome for this soup and I am a sucker for ANYTHING with lemon, so I am excited to make it! Thanks so much.

    • Cassie replied: — January 10th, 2015 @ 11:10 am

      I would definitely cook the orzo separately, and then add when serving. Otherwise the orzo will soak up all of the extra broth and will be super mushy. I hope you enjoy!


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