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Let’s cozy up to this easy, one-pot vegetable orzo soup! Made with 6 different veggies, this tomato-based soup is rich in fiber and nutrition. You have the option to add in extra protein, like shredded chicken, turkey, sausage, or chickpeas!

A serving of vegetable orzo soup in a bowl.

This vegetable orzo soup is the perfect meal to cozy up to on a cold day, or when you’re feeling under the weather! It’s incredibly tasty, nourishing, and comforting all at the same time.

Orzo is such a great addition to veggie soups – you can add it directly to the soup pot and it cooks in just 7 minutes! You will love the soft, yet hearty texture that it gives, while also making this recipe more filling and satisfying.

As a dietitian, I love that this soup packs in 6 different kinds of veggies: tomatoes, celery, carrots, kale, onion, and garlic. It’s rich in fiber and so many other nutrition benefits!

Want more healthy soups and stews like this? You will also love my vegetarian lasagna soup, this tofu vegetable stew, or this vegan tempeh chili!

Recipe ingredient flatlay.

About the ingredients + substitutions

  1. Orzo: Also known as risoni, orzo is a short pasta that’s shaped like a large grain of rice. It cooks super quickly – only 7 minutes – and gets added to the soup pot directly! If you follow a gluten-free diet, you may use a gluten-free orzo – brands like DeLallo and Jovial both carry a GF option. Otherwise, you may stir in some COOKED gluten-free pasta (short shape) or a cooked gluten-free grain, like rice or quinoa.
  2. Carrots: You’ll need about 3 long carrots for this recipe.
  3. Celery: Likewise, you’ll need about 3 regular stalks of celery.
  4. Kale: I used curly kale here, but you are welcome to use tuscan kale or another hearty green, like swiss chard. While you can use spinach, it doesn’t quite have the same heartiness and texture to it!
  5. Diced tomatoes: I used an entire 28 oz or 796 ml can of diced tomatoes with the liquids for this recipe.
  6. Yellow onion: You may add in as much onion as you’d like, depending on your preferences and tolerance. Personally, I struggle to digest onion and used only a small amount (1/4 cup, diced). If you love onion, you are welcome to use much more!
  7. Garlic
  8. Vegetable broth: I used a low-sodium veggie broth for this recipe. If preferred, you are welcome to use a chicken broth or a regular (not low sodium) version. Simply adjust how much salt you add to the soup, accordingly.
  9. Tomato paste: This helps to thicken up the broth and provides a stronger tomato flavour.
  10. Italian seasoning: If you don’t have Italian seasoning on hand, you are welcome to use a mix of dried thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, and/or marjoram.
  11. Smoked paprika: Adds a touch of smokiness to this recipe!
  12. Parmesan: I stirred in some freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano at the end of this recipe. It adds a lovely umami flavour. If you’re dairy-free/vegan, you are welcome to omit the parmesan OR stir in some nutritional yeast instead.

Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Want to add more protein?

There are so many ways you can add extra protein to this soup recipe:

  1. shredded chicken – this is my go-to here! You can shred up some cooked chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken and stir it into the soup at the end
  2. shredded turkey – this would be a great way to use up leftover turkey from the holidays!
  3. sausage – you can add some crumbled or sliced up sausage, with both meat or vegetarian options here
  4. cooked or canned chickpeas or beans – perfect for a vegan/vegetarian option

Visual guide: how to make vegetable orzo soup

The most time-consuming part of this soup recipe is chopping up the various veggies. After that, everything goes into one pot and is super easy to cook!

Chopped celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and spices cooking in a large pot.

STEP 1: You’ll want to start by heating olive oil in a deep pot. Then, add in your minced garlic, diced onion, chopped celery and carrots, along with Italian seasoning and smoked paprika. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring every minute or so.

Canned tomatoes, veggie broth, and kale added to the pot.

STEP 2: Next, pour in the diced tomatoes, veggie broth, tomato paste, and kale. Cover and bring the liquid to a gentle boil.

Dry orzo poured into the soup pot.

STEP 3: Once boiling, stir in the dry orzo. Set your timer for 7 minutes and let the orzo cook.

Vegetable orzo soup in a large pot.

STEP 4: Once the orzo has cooked, stir in some freshly grated parmesan and your desired protein (if using). That’s it!

Nutrition benefits of this orzo soup

This orzo soup is such a cozy and comforting way to pack in a ton of veggies and nutrients! Here are some of the health benefits of the key ingredients:

  1. Orzo is a source of energizing carbohydrates, multiple B-vitamins, and plant-based protein, with a 1/2-cup serving providing 7 grams of protein.
  2. Carrots are a great source of dietary fiber and antioxidants, like beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. They’re also a source of micronutrients like vitamins A, K, B6, C, folate, and potassium.
  3. Celery is also a source of dietary fiber and antioxidants, as well as micronutrients like potassium, folate, calcium, and vitamins K, C, and A.
  4. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. They’re also a good source of fiber and antioxidants, like lycopene and beta-carotene.
  5. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C – with one cup providing over 100% of your daily needs! Kale is also rich in – you guessed it – fiber and antioxidants, too 🙂
A serving of vegetable orzo soup in a bowl.

More nourishing soup recipes

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Get the Recipe: Easy, One-Pot Vegetable Orzo Soup

Let's cozy up to this easy, one-pot vegetable orzo soup! Made with 6 different veggies, this tomato-based soup is rich in fiber and nutrition. You have the option to add in extra protein, like shredded chicken, turkey, sausage, or chickpeas!
A serving of vegetable orzo soup in a bowl.
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5 from 5 votes
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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced (or more, as desired!)
  • 1.5 cups carrots, peeled + chopped (approx. 3 carrots)
  • 1.5 cups celery, chopped (approx. 3 stalks)
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, with juices (796 ml can)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (I used a low sodium option)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cups curly kale, removed from stem + torn
  • 1 cup orzo, dry/uncooked
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated (I used parmigiano-reggiano)
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  • Optional protein (if desired): cooked + shredded chicken or turkey, meat or veggie sausage, or canned/cooked chickpeas or beans

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high. Add in minced garlic, diced onion, chopped celery and carrots, along with Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
    The veggies do not have to fully cook here – they will continue to cook as you add the liquids in!
  • Next, stir in the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, tomato paste, and kale. Cover and bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
  • Once boiling, stir in the dry orzo. Set your timer for 7 minutes and let the orzo cook, uncovered.
  • Once the orzo has cooked, turn off the heat. Stir in the grated parmesan and your desired protein (if using – see notes). Season with additional salt and pepper, as needed. Serve hot!

Notes

*SERVINGS: This recipe as written makes between 4-6 servings, depending on personal needs and hunger levels.
*LEFTOVERS:
  • You can keep leftovers of this recipe in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days.
  • Reheat leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • If the orzo has absorbed too much of the liquid, simply stir in more veggie broth or water before reheating!
 
*OPTIONAL PROTEIN: You are welcome to add more protein to this recipe at the end. I’ve left this part up to you, so that you may enjoy this recipe no matter what your dietary preferences are!
  • shredded chicken – this is my go-to! You can shred up some cooked chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken and stir it into the soup
  • shredded turkey – this would be a great way to use up leftover turkey from the holidays!
  • sausage you can add some crumbled or sliced up sausage, with both meat or vegetarian options here
  • cooked or canned chickpeas or beans perfect for a vegan/vegetarian option
 
*RECIPE MODIFICATIONS:
  • If you follow a gluten-free diet, you may use a gluten-free orzo – brands like DeLallo and Jovial both carry a GF option. Otherwise, you may stir in some COOKED gluten-free pasta (short shape) or a cooked gluten-free grain, like rice or quinoa. These have longer cooking times than the orzo, which is why I recommend cooking them separately!
  • If you’re dairy-free/vegan, you are welcome to omit the parmesan OR stir in some nutritional yeast instead.
  • If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you are welcome to use a mix of dried thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, and/or marjoram.
Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 1027mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 14125IU | Vitamin C: 73mg | Calcium: 372mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition

As a dietitian, I create recipes with whole food ingredients that provide the nutrients needed for optimal health. My nutrition philosophy does not focus on numbers; however, I understand that this information can be helpful.

Do note that the nutrition info provided is an estimate and I cannot guarantee correctness of the displayed values. These numbers will differ depending on brands used, recipe modifications, and amount eaten. If you require specific nutrition information due to medical reasons, please consult with your dietitian or physician.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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Pinterest graphic for a healthy vegetable orzo soup recipe.
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