This healthy Greek spinach and orzo soup is warm, soothing, and makes a delicious dinner that is tangy and bursting with lemon flavor. It is pleasantly and lightly filling, and ideal for when you need a break from rich, hearty dishes and indulgent sweets. This colorful Mediterranean recipe is so simple to prepare
Greek Spinach and Orzo Soup [Vegan]
For the Soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 6 ounces (about 6 cups) spinach, coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup (about 1 ounce) Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) uncooked orzo pasta
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice, to taste
For the Homemade Croutons:
- A few slices of bread or baguette
- Olive oil
- Ground black pepper
To Make the Soup:
- Place the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add the diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the red bell pepper and garlic, and cook until the pepper softens, about 5 more minutes. Add the vegetable broth and tomatoes, then cover the pot, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
- Once it is boiling, add the spinach, parsley, and orzo. Stir well to combine, and return to a boil. Then cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Taste for seasonings and lemon, and add more as needed. Serve hot, with homemade croutons if desired.
To Make the Homemade Croutons:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. Cut the bread into cubes, then place the cubes in a bowl. Drizzle the cubes lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
- Toss to coat the croutons evenly, and adjust seasonings to taste. Transfer the croutons to the prepared baking sheet, and bake until crispy, about 15 minutes.