Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup

Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups dry whole wheat orzo pasta
  • 10 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can white beans
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 bunch kale or 5 oz of spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 3/4 can lite coconut milk or cashew cream (1 part cashews + 1 part water)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shallot, garlic, and chili flakes and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in 2 tbs of olive oil, then stir in the orzo. Cook until golden, 1-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Stir in the beans and kale or spinach. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer 10 minutes until the orzo is al dente, stirring often. It should become very creamy.
  7. Stir in the pesto, milk or cream, parmesan, and lemon, cook another few minutes until warmed through.
  8. Divide the orzo and broth among bowls and add additional parmesan and black pepper.
  9. You can also add some fresh dill, parsley, or basil (optional).

Variations & Notes:

  • On the second or third day, you may need to add additional water as the orzo can soak up the broth.

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