I’m not sure why this Spinach Lemon Orzo Soup caught my attention when I was going through the recipes on Sprinkled with Flour. It might have been the picture, or the orzo (what’s orzo? I thought…) or the lemon spinach combo. Whatever it was, I wrote down the recipe and finally got to make it a couple of weeks later after getting back home from my trip. I’m glad I did! It is a good soup that is different from any other I have made. It has a subtle lemon flavor and just the right amount of ‘kick’ from the red pepper flakes. This soup was really simple to throw together. I actually had it made a bit before I was ready to eat it, so I turned it wayyyy down. The orzo ended up soaking some more liquid so I believe I added a bit more water. I also didn’t think it necessarily needed the cornstarch/water mixture to thicken, but you may find it needs it.
You probably already know, but in case I am wrong, Orzo is a ‘rice-shaped pasta’. I loved it and will be trying other recipes with it!
Spinach Lemon Orzo Soup (serves 8)
2 T Olive Oil
1 whole Large Onion, Chopped
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole Lemon, Zested And Juiced
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (I halved and was the perfect amount of spice for MY taste buds)
1 tsp Dried Thyme
2 cups Fresh Spinach Leaves, Packed
1-½ cup Uncooked Orzo Pasta
8 cups Vegetable Or Chicken Broth
2 T Water
1 T Cornstarch
¼ cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese, More Or Less As Needed
Heat the oil in a large heavy pot or stock pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add the lemon zest, red pepper flakes and thyme and cook another 3 minutes until the onions are tender and translucent. Turn the heat to medium and add the spinach and orzo. Cook for 1 minute and then add the broth and lemon juice.
Bring to a light simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes until the orzo is barely tender. Whisk the water and cornstarch in a small bowl. With the soup at a light boil, whisk in the cornstarch mixture and stir rapidly. Allow the soup to thicken, about 3 minutes.
Serve immediately garnished with freshly grated Parmesan.
Cassie’s notes: This soup is also great with 1-2 cups of cooked chicken added in. Feel free to use chopped frozen spinach—just make sure you thaw, drain and squeeze out the excess water.