Zucchini Orzo Soup

5 from 59 votes

This Orzo soup recipe is full of veggies, including zucchini, carrots, and tomatoes. It's made with all vegetarian ingredients - perfect for meatless Monday!

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Bright and flavorful this orzo soup is every zucchini lover’s dream. Full of tender veggies, orzo pasta, and zesty tomatoes, this soup is sure to become a weeknight staple. It’s a vegetarian version of orzo soup that is simple to make and easily tailored to whatever veggies you have on hand.

2 bowls of soup with spoon and fresh torn basil.

If you’ve been looking for an easy, delicious, and healthy soup recipe, look no further than this vegetarian orzo soup with zucchini and veggies! This soup is perfect for a quick weeknight meal. It is hearty, flavorful, and filling. Plus, it is packed with nutrients and vitamins. The zucchini and carrots are cooked down to the perfect tenderness, and the orzo pasta adds a nice hearty element to the soup. The tomatoes add a touch of acidity and sweetness. And the herbs give the soup a beautiful flavor. This soup is truly a powerhouse of flavor and nutrition! So what are you waiting for? Give this vegetarian orzo soup with zucchini and veggies a try!

why you’ll love this orzo vegetable soup

  • Satisfying without being heavy. This orzo soup is the perfect meal for those days when you want something hearty and filling, but don’t want to feel weighed down. It is packed with veggies, so you’ll get a good dose of fiber and nutrients. And the orzo pasta provides some complex carbs to help fill you up. But overall, this soup is light and refreshing.
  • Perfect for meatless Monday. This soup is vegetarian, so it’s perfect for those days when you’re looking to eat a meatless meal.
  • Simple and easy to make. This soup comes together quickly and easily. And it can be easily tailored to whatever veggies you have on hand. So if you need to use up some veggies in your fridge, this is the perfect soup for that!
  • A texture wonderland. This soup has a variety of textures that make it interesting and fun to eat. The orzo pasta is perfectly cooked, the zucchini and carrots are tender, and the tomatoes add a lovely burst of acidity.

Ingredients to make vegetarian orzo soup

  • Fresh Vegetables: Zucchini, carrots, celery, and onion round out this soup. Each veggie brings its own unique flavor profile to the broth and to each bite. Feel free to add in any other veggies you have on hand.
  • Orzo: You want to use a good quality orzo for this soup. Due to its shape, it’s easy to get orzo confused with rice. That being said, orzo is a type of pasta made from semolina flour. It has a delicate, slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with the soup’s veggies and broth.
  • Tomatoes: A can of diced tomatoes adds acidity, sweetness, and a beautiful red color to the soup. I also add tomato paste to this soup to help bring forward the acid of the tomato.
  • Vegetable broth: To keep this soup vegetarian, you’ll want to use a good quality veggie broth. I like to use low sodium so that I can control the amount of salt in the soup.
  • Seasoning: Fresh garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper really enhance the flavors of the soup.
Ingredients for soup recipe before being prepped.

How to make orzo soup

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and cook until softened.
  2. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, oregano, and salt, and cook until the tomato paste is darkened.
  3. Stir in the vegetable broth and diced tomatoes.
  4. Bring to a boil, then add the orzo and simmer until almost tender.
  5. Add the zucchini and cook until the zucchini is tender and the orzo is fully cooked.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to rest until the orzo thickens.
6 image collage making soup in one pot, adding each ingredient into the pot.

Tips for making orzo soup with veggies

  1. Keep in mind that the soup will get thicker when it sets. When it’s done cooking, you may not notice the orzo in the soup. But the orzo pasta will continue to absorb the soup broth as it sits, becoming softer and thickening the soup.
  2. Make the soup ahead of time. If you want to make this soup ahead of time, I recommend stopping after you have added the vegetable stock and diced tomatoes. When you’re ready to serve, heat up the soup in a pot, and cook the orzo and zucchini fresh. This will take less than 10 minutes, and the soup will be much tastier without any soggy pasta.
  3. Don’t be afraid to add more salt. Depending on the brand of vegetable stock, this soup may need quite a bit of salt added at the end. So don’t forget to taste before serving and season as necessary!
  4. Cut the zucchini and carrots into bite-sized pieces. This will help them cook evenly and ensure that each bite has a nice mix of veggies.
Overhead view of a pot of soup with zucchini and orzo.

popular substitutions & additions

  • Add protein to the mix. This soup is delicious as is, but you could also add some protein to make it a complete meal. Some cooked chicken, shrimp, or tofu would be great additions.
  • Substitute the orzo for rice. If you’re not a fan of pasta, you could easily substitute the orzo for rice. Just cook the rice according to the package instructions and add it to the soup at the end.
  • Add some spice. If you want a little bit of heat, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or some diced jalapeño to the soup.
  • Make it creamy. For a creamy version, stir in some heavy cream or half and a half after cooking. This will make the soup richer.
  • Citrus it up. If you like lemon in your orzo soup, feel free to add the zest of a lemon or some freshly squeezed lemon juice before serving.
  • Top with fresh herbs. I like to garnish my soup with some chopped basil or parsley, but other great options include oregano, or thyme.
  • Serve with crusty bread. This orzo soup is best served with some crusty bread to soak up all the delicious broth. Trust me. You’re going to want to savor every last drop!

what to serve with your orzo soup

Hand dipping a piece of cheese bread into soup.

how to store & reheat orzo soup 

Leftover orzo soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, reheat the soup on the stove over medium heat until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water or broth if the soup has thickened too much.

how long will orzo soup last in the fridge?

Orzo soup will last in the fridge for about three days. After that, the orzo will start to break down, and the soup will become mushy.

Can you freeze orzo soup?

I don’t recommend freezing this soup because the orzo doesn’t hold up well when frozen. The pasta will become mushy and less enjoyable to eat. If you do choose to freeze it, make the base minus the zucchini and the orzo and just add when you’re ready to eat.

Frequently asked questions

My orzo came out mushy. What did I do wrong?

If your orzo came out mushy, it’s likely because you overcooked it. Orzo only takes about 10 minutes to cook, so be sure not to add it to the soup until right before you’re ready to eat. The cooking process will continue even when you remove it from the heat.

Can I make this soup without orzo?

Yes! If you want a grain-free version of the soup, simply omit the orzo. The soup will still be delicious!

Can I use whole-wheat orzo in place or regular?

Yes, you can use whole-wheat orzo if you want. Just be aware that it will change the flavor and texture of the soup slightly. I prefer semolina orzo for this recipe, but whole-wheat orzo will work in a pinch.

Bowl of zucchini orzo soup with a piece of cheese bread on top.

So there you have it, my easy recipe for vegetarian orzo soup with zucchini and veggies! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below if you try it out.

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Zucchini Orzo Soup

This Orzo soup recipe is full of veggies, including zucchini, carrots, and tomatoes. It's made with all vegetarian ingredients – perfect for meatless Monday!
5 from 59 votes
Servings 6
Course Soup
Calories 178
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 3 celery stalks cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
  • 3 carrots halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup dried orzo
  • 2 zucchinis halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot, and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, oregano and salt, and cook until the tomato paste is darkened and starting to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Stir in the vegetable broth and diced tomatoes.
  • Bring to a boil, then add the orzo and simmer until almost tender, 5-6 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until the zucchini is tender and the orzo is fully cooked, 5 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat and allow to rest until the orzo thickens, about 20 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt if necessary. Serve topped with fresh basil.

Notes

Tip: Cut the carrots and zucchini into uniform bite-size pieces to avoid some pieces being over or underdone. 

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 643mg, Potassium: 774mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 5537IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 78mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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2 bowls of soup with spoon and fresh torn basil.

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Comments

  1. It’s raining here by me so this soup was perfect for today. I just made it and it’s perfect made just the way the recipe is. It’s always a great way to incorporate veggies when u have so many of them from the garden. Thank you for another great recipe!🤗

  2. The Zucchini Orzo Soup looks & delicious & I think even I can make it! One question since I didn’t think I saw the serving size, is the nutrition based on one cup of soup? Serving size info helps those of us who do food tracking. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

    1. Thank you so much! You definitely can! The serving size is a sixth of the recipe. I do not include weight/ cup measurements for the soup because it will vary with each batch. I recommend weighing the entire batch once completed and then dividing it by sixth for the serving size of that batch.