Summer Orzo Soup
with pesto / white beans
We love a hearty soup that's packed with fresh produce, orzo pasta and beans. This one gets extra fresh crunch from corn folded in just at the end of cooking.
Smarts: Cooking the pasta on its own and adding it to the soup just before serving means it doesn't get mushy and makes it easy to refrigerate or freeze leftovers for later.
- Pine nuts (sub walnuts or pecans) - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
- Basil - 2 oz, leaves torn
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Pasta, uncooked orzo - 3/4 cup
- Onions - 1/2, chopped
- Celery - 1 rib, diced
- Squash, yellow (sub zucchini or use a combination) - 1, diced
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 1/4 cup, grated
- Corn kernels, fresh or frozen - 1 cup
- Tomatoes, medium - 1, diced
- Beans, cannellini or butter (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Stock, any variety - 3 cups
- Lemon zest - 1/2 tsp
- Pesto (ingredients listed separately) - ~1/4 cup
- Cook pasta - (Skip this step if pasta was already made for Wednesday.) Bring large stock pot with salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make pesto - (Skip this step if pesto was already made for Monday.) Toast nuts in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Peel garlic cloves. Place nuts, garlic, basil leaves and lemon juice into a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in oil until smooth. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Onions / Celery / Squash / Garlic / Cheese- Prep as directed. Combine onions, celery and squash in one container. Store garlic and cheese in separate containers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Corn - (Skip this step if using frozen corn.) Slice kernels off cobs. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
- Tomatoes - Dice tomatoes. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Beans - Drain and rinse.
- Heat a >5 quart (4.73 liters) Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add butter and then onions, celery and squash to melted butter. Add a pinch of salt and saute until beginning to soften, ~3 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute until fragrant, ~1 minute.
- Pour stock, beans and tomatoes over vegetables. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until squash is tender, ~5 minutes.
- Add corn and lemon zest to soup. Simmer for 1 minute more just to cook corn (you want it to keep some crunch). Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
- Divide orzo between serving bowls and ladle soup over top.
- Stir pesto into individual bowls at the table and top with parmesan (if using). Enjoy!
we added some sausage. overall it was just ok0 Helpful
I added polish sausage and no celery. It was pretty good and used up my zucchini. The boy didn't like the pesto.0 Helpful
Forgot to pick up pesto at the store :( I'm sure it would have added a lot to the flavor0 Helpful
Seemed like it had a lot of prep work, but actually came together pretty seamlessly. Very tasty, too!0 Helpful
The pesto is a great addition (we subbed pecans)0 Helpful
We really liked this, even though I forgot to add the pasta. Doubled the garlic. Used canned tomatoes.0 Helpful