Rainbow Lemon Orzo Vegetable Soup

Living in the Midwest, in less than a week since I took these photos and wrote down this recipe, the weather has switched from averaging a mild spring 40°- 50°, to a full, melting, sweaty, shower-twice-a-day, legs-stuck-inside-my-pants-with-sweat 80°. In May.

If you can’t tell, I’m not a fan of the heat.

Luckily, this Rainbow Lemon Orzo Vegetable Soup is versatile. In colder, dreary weather, this soup feels like sunshine in a bowl, thanks to the prominent lemon zest + juice. In the current spring clime, it’s an awesome soothing soup to fight seasonal allergies and colds.

Rainbow Lemon Orzo Vegetable Soup

I love this soup. Not only is it a beautiful gradient of colors, but each major vegetable brings something different to the table taste wise:

Kidney beans have a wonderfully smooth and creamy texture. Corn adds a pop of sweetness. Potatoes add heartiness. Kale chewy, pleasantly bitter. And a mirepoix of onions, celery, and carrot as the base, serving up nostalgic, childhood vegetable soup realness.

Rainbow Lemon Orzo Vegetable Soup Rainbow Lemon Orzo Vegetable Soup

Rainbow Lemon Orzo Vegetable Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr

cheerful + sunny vegetable soup with bright lemon notes. 

Course: Soup
Servings: 8
  • 1 med onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 med carrots diced
  • 3-4 yukon gold potatoes chopped
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 15 oz cans kidney beans light + dark red
  • 2 cup sweet corn
  • 1/2 - 1 c orzo (less will give you more broth, a full cup will absorb most of the liquid)
  • 3 cup kale washed + chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • zest from half of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • salt + pepper to taste
  1. In a dutch oven or large pot, heat olive oil. Once hot, add diced onion and stir. Cook until translucent, or about 5 minutes.

  2. Add diced carrots and celery, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Keep stirring! 

  3. Add potatoes, garlic powder, turmeric, thyme, parsley, rosemary, and lemon zest. Stir until vegetables are fully coated in spices. Cook for another 10 minutes. 

  4. Add vegetable broth, beans, corn, and 1/2 - 1 cup orzo, depending on preference. Bring to a light simmer (softly bubbling, not a full, violent rolling boil) and cover pot with a lid, slightly cracked to allow steam out.

  5. Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes until potatoes are fork tender and orzo is fully cooked.

  6. Add kale and lemon juice. Stir until kale is wilted and a dark green.

    Add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

-When sautéing vegetables in the beginning steps, if they begin to stick, add a small amount of vegetable broth if you'd like to avoid using more oil.

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