Creamy Vegan Rainbow Veggie Orzo Soup has every color in one bowl of filling, flavorful, and gluten-free soup!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/4 teaspoon. ground black pepper
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, diced
- 1 cup diced butternut squash (or peeled sweet potato or carrots for orange)
- 1 yellow squash, diced (or yellow bell pepper)
- 1 zucchini (or 1 head broccoli or 2/3 cup peas* or 1-2 handfuls baby spinach)
- 2 purple carrots, peeled and diced
- 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (6 cups for a brothy soup)**
- 1/4 cup orzo (I love Andean Dream quinoa orzo for gluten-free)
- optional: 1, 13.5 ounce can cannelini beans (drained and rinsed) for added protein
- 2 bay leaves (optional for added depth of flavor)
- 1 batch cashew cream. Learn more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post. (sub 1, 13.5 ounce can of unsweetened full-fat coconut milk if nut-free)
- Add olive oil to a 5.5 quart dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onion, salt and pepper and saute for five minutes. Turn the heat to low and add minced garlic. Saute for another three minutes.
- Add all the diced veggies and saute for five minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth (or water - see notes) and bring to a boil. Turn the burner to medium and add the orzo and bay leaves. Cook over medium heat until orzo is cooked through (about 20 minutes) stirring every couple of minutes to avoid the orzo from sticking to the bottom. Add white beans if using.
- Once the veggies are all fork tender and the orzo is cooked through, turn off the burner. Remove the bay leaves and add the cashew cream. Stir well and serve while hot. Store leftovers once fully cooled to room temperature in an airtight container in the refrigerator to up to five days.
*I like to add the broccoli and peas last minute to avoid overcooking them. Those veggies cook quickly and broccoli can taste bitter if overcooked
** If you use water (which I actually prefer over broth) add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the soup when you add the water..
This recipe is very forgiving and you can basically use any veggies you have on hand or that you love. I have sometimes used mushrooms, celery, asparagus and green beans.
In the springtime I love to add lemon juice and lemon zest for a bright flavor enhancer. I sometimes add fresh dill this time of year as well.
You could add diced fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish anytime of year.
Add cooked lentils or chickpeas for plant-based protein. You can add these at the same time as the orzo. If you add dry lentils be sure to add extra liquid for it to absorb.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 33
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stovetop
Keywords: creamy vegan vegetable soup