Summer Orzo Soup
with pesto / white beans
We love the summery flavors of this soup that's packed with fresh produce, orzo pasta and a swirl of fresh pesto added at the end. A version of this meal was first introduced in August 2016.
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 - 2 Tbsp (sub walnuts or pecans)
- Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
- Cheese, parmesan - 1 oz
- Basil leaves - 1 1/2 oz
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Pasta, uncooked orzo - 3/4 cup
- Onions, medium - 1/2, chopped
- Carrots - 8 oz, diced
- Squash, yellow summer - 8 oz, diced (sub zucchini or use a combination)
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil - 1/2 cup, drained and chopped
- Beans, cannellini or butter (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
- Paprika, smoked - 1/2 tsp
- Stock, any type - 2 1/2 cups
- Tomatoes, diced and preferably fire-roasted (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
- Parmesan cheese rind (opt) - 1
- Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
- Pesto (ingredients listed separately) - ~1/4 cup
- Cook pasta - 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 Wednesday.) Toast nuts in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Peel garlic cloves. Place nuts, garlic, cheese (reserve the rind), basil leaves and lemon juice into a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil (portion for pesto) until smooth. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Onions / Carrots / Squash / Sun dried tomatoes - Prep as directed. Combine onions, carrots and squash in one container. Store sun dried tomatoes separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Beans - Drain and rinse beans.
- Heat a >5 quart / 4.73 liters Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil (portion for the soup) and then onions, carrots and squash. Add a pinch of salt and saute until beginning to soften, ~3 minutes. Add Italian seasoning and paprika and cook for 1 minute more.
- Pour stock, beans and diced tomatoes (including liquid) over vegetables. Add sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese rind (if using). Bring to a simmer. Simmer until carrots are tender, ~5 minutes.
- When soup is finished, add lemon juice and season with some salt and pepper.
- Divide orzo between serving bowls and ladle soup over top.
- Stir a spoonful of pesto into each bowl of soup at the table. Serve crusty bread on the side with any extra pesto for dipping. Enjoy!
Pretty tasty but since I eat these meals for multiple days I got a little tired of this one. Probably wouldn't make again. Like the others said, the pesto really makes the dish.0 Helpful
added some ground Italian sausage and it was a big hit in my house. Yum!0 Helpful
I doubled the pesto and stock, added kale stems (in the beginning) and kale leaves (at the end). And a parsnip, cubed. So hearty and good! If prepped ahead, fast and no mess!0 Helpful
Also made it gluten free with delicious fusilli.0 Helpful
Really good! I used premade pesto since I already had a jar of it in the fridge. It turned out great.0 Helpful
Added italian sausage...delish!!!0 Helpful