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Large pot of lemon chickpea orzo soup with soup spoon mixing the soup

Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup

One-pot Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup is the best bright and flavorful soup to warm you up in the colder months. All you need is 11 simple plant-based ingredients. Vegan, Oil-free and gluten-free option.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Method Stovetop
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 313kcal
Author Caitlin Shoemaker


For the Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 sticks celery finely chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and finely chopped
  • 3-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 15.5 ounce cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups imitation "chicken" broth or sub vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 4 ounces Baby spinach
  • Juice of 1/2-1 lemon
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Gremolata: (optional)

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • Zest of 1/2–1 lemon start with less
  • Pinch of salt


  • Aromatics: Warm the oil or butter in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions are golden. Stir in the garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Thicken the Soup: Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for another minute or so, stirring frequently. (Note: see recipe notes for a gluten-free option)
  • Bring to a Boil: Add the chickpeas and broth and stir well, until the flour has dissolved. Cover and bring the soup to a boil over high heat.
  • Simmer: Uncover, add the orzo and stir well; reduce the heat to medium and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the orzo is tender. Stir frequently to prevent the orzo from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Make the Gremolata: While the soup is simmering, combine the parsley, lemon zest, and salt together in a small bowl to make the gremolata. Set aside.
  • Final Touches: Turn the heat to low once the orzo is cooked and stir in the spinach and lemon juice. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
  • Serve: Divide the soup into serving bowls and garnish with gremolata and a drizzle of olive oil, or as desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or the soup can also be frozen for up to 2 months.


  • Gluten-Free: use gluten-free orzo (or pasta) in place of regular orzo and refer to the package instructions for simmer time. Use a gf flour blend instead of all-purpose flour, or skip step 2 and dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water; add this to the soup and add with the spinach in step 6.
  • Oil-Free: Sauté the vegetables in 1/4 cup (60 ml) water in step 1, adding more water as necessary. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.


Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 982mg | Potassium: 532mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 6136IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 4mg