Fresh Herb Soup with Orzo

Fresh Herb Soup with Orzo - Food & Nutrition Magazine - Stone Soup
Photo by Ginger Hultin

Are you looking for plant-based recipes that are also a good source of protein? This soup recipe delivers on both. Packed with plant-based protein from creamy cannellini beans, this fresh herb soup with orzo has a bright, savory flavor. I love one-pot recipes that are easy to make. This soup recipe is no different, making it a great meal prep option for weekday lunches or dinners.

A lot of my clients associate soup with winter and I hear things like, “I stop making soup when the weather gets warmer.” But you’re not stuck with chilled soups like gazpacho outside of fall and winter. By utilizing fresh herbs, you can bring soup into the spring and summer with vibrant flavors.Fresh Herb Soup with Orzo - When you don’t have the fresh stuff, use dried for a more savory, earthy taste that really is perfect for colder weather.

Luckily, this recipe does not require much prep ahead of time. Even though there is some chopping and slicing involved, as long as you have a sharp knife on hand, you’ll be good to go. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, any large pot will do. Part of what makes this recipe so easy is that it utilizes ingredients you probably already have hanging around like canned beans, olive oil and onions.

My purpose as a registered dietitian nutritionist is to make getting into the kitchen easier and fun. Set some time aside in your week to whip this soup up and be sure to make it simpler by using canned beans, boxed broth and even pre-chopped onion (yes – that comes frozen). This can be an incredibly quick and easy recipe.

Fresh Herb Soup with Orzo


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1½ cup uncooked orzo
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley stems
  • 1½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated pecorino Romano cheese, for garnish


Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.

Add the onion, salt and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has almost completely reduced, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the parsley stems, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the broth and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to medium-low and cook the orzo, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes until it’s softened.

Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cannellini beans, cooking until they’re heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove the soup from heat.

Stir in the chives, tarragon and parsley leaves. Add any additional salt or pepper as needed per your taste and, if you’re not following a vegan diet, garnish with pecorino Romano and serving hot.

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Ginger Hultin
Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN is the owner of the private practices, Champagne Nutrition, and Seattle Cancer Nutritionist in Seattle, WA. She specializes in integrative health and oncology, nutrigenomics, and plant-based diets. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.