Orzo pasta soup was my favorite childhood soup, and now it’s my kids’ favorite too. Fixing this soup brings back so many memories of my brothers and me hanging out in our kitchen and enjoying this simple yet delicious soup!
Now, I know why my mom preferred this soup over other soups. It has only one main ingredient (Orzo pasta), and you can put it together in minutes with items that already exist in almost every pantry. And she always has everybody at home thank her for its deliciousness ?
What makes Egyptian Orzo Pasta soup special?
A – It is made of Orzo Pasta. For those not familiar with orzo pasta, it’s a type of pasta that looks like large grains of rice.
B – The pasta is toasted! Say what? I know that toasting pasta is not common practice for many home cooks but trust me on this one, toasting the pasta adds a slightly nutty flavor and adds color to your pasta.
C – It has a hint of several spices, which adds layers of flavor. I use seven spices or all spices for a unique and different taste.
Orzo Pasta Soup Ingredients
- Orzo Pasta: White or whole wheat depending on your choice.
- Butter: Replace with margarine for a vegan option
- Olive oil: I prefer extra virgin olive oil.
- Broth: Chicken, beef, or vegetables. I like to use this chicken broth cubes.
- Spices: Seven spices or All spices. Check the links to my favorite brands!
- Salt and black pepper to taste.
- Water: I prefer adding a cup of water to make the soup lighter (optional)
Vegan orzo soup
If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can easily replace the butter with margarine and the chicken broth with vegetable broth, and Voila! You just made yourself a delicious vegan orzo soup ?
Can Orzo soup be healthy?
As with any pasta, Orzo is commonly made from white flour, but you can replace it with whole wheat pasta, margarine instead of butter, and low-sodium broth if you have concerns about salt. Check out why whole wheat is a healthier option here.
How to cook orzo pasta soup?
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
- Add the uncooked Orzo and keep stirring until it gives a toasted golden brown in color.
- Add the broth, water, salt, black pepper, and seven spices or allspice.
- Once it boils, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the Orzo is tender; stir occasionally.
Cooking and serving tips
How to avoid overcooking?
Orzo can turn into mush, so it’s imperative to test it and make sure that it’s barely done so you can get this Aldente thickness this soup should provide.
Lemon juice is a game-changer!
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice will awaken the flavors and make this soup incredibly tasty and refreshing!
Can I add vegetables or chicken to orzo soup?
The recipe I am sharing here is for the authentic homemade Egyptian orzo soup but the answer to both questions is Yes!
Let’s start with vegetables:
If you use fresh vegetables, sauté them first for 1-2 minutes, then add the uncooked Orzo and mix them.
If you are cooking frozen vegetables, add them after adding the broth.
Cut chicken thighs or breasts into cubes (I prefer thighs and stick to 1/2 Lb) and sear in a pan with the oil and butter until it turns golden. Set aside, then add to the broth when ready and let all of them cook together.
How to store and freeze orzo soup?
Storage: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days
Reheat: Rewarm on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. You might need to add a little bit of water when reheating because pasta tends to soak up some or most of the broth.
Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. As mentioned above add a little bit of water when reheating from frozen because pasta tends to soak up some or most of the broth.