Warming 20 minute Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup. Kind of like creamy risotto, kind of like soup, and so DELICIOUS. This is wholesome but comforting and the easiest to make using just one pot and 20 minutes. It’s warm and creamy, swirled with basil pesto, and finished with parmesan and a pinch of black pepper. Doesn’t get simpler or more delicious.
Sometimes it’s the simplest of recipes that really do turn out the most delicious. And that’s definitely the case with today’s recipe. It’s perfect for this time of year when we’re still craving comfort food on these cold winter days, but also wanting something lighter. It also makes for a nice Valentine’s Day recipe too.
This is a great mix. Originally when I set out to make this I was thinking it would be more of a soup. And it is, but this is an ultra-creamy soup.
A bit of a cross between soup, creamy pasta, and risotto. So just as you would expect, it’s delicious.
When my sister-in-law Lyndsie was in town over Christmas, she pretty much begged for a white bean soup. It’s one of her favorites and she said I never make anything with beans, which isn’t a lie. The family that’s here is not the biggest fan of beans. But I do love to experiment with them when Lynds and/or my cousins are in town.
Anyway, I never got around to making the soup over Christmas. But once I had this idea, I knew it would be delicious, Lyndsie fully agreed.
With a 20 to 30 minute start to finish time, you can imagine the steps are pretty simple. First up, you only need one pot. No sauces, nothing extra, just one pot.
Start with olive oil, shallots, and garlic. To keep things simple, I just used smashed garlic cloves to infuse the oil. Then some butter goes in and then the orzo.
Any time I’m cooking with orzo, I love to toast it in butter before adding in any liquid. This just adds another layer of flavor as the butter cooks around the orzo.
Then comes the broth, along with white beans, and kale. You could easily use spinach in place of kale. From here, simply simmer until the orzo is al dente and things are becoming very creamy.
Stir in the pesto and lots of parmesan and finish it off with lemon.
That’s it. Absolutely nothing fancy, but totally delicious.
I usually add a little fresh dill and black pepper, but parsley or basil work really well too.
Then, some crusty bread on the side is a must.
It’s different, but so, so good. And who couldn’t love such an easy Monday recipe? Especially after the Super Bowl. I feel like we need this today! Happy Valentine’s day!
Looking for other quick recipes? Here are my favorites:
Lastly, if you make this Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Creamy White Bean Lemon Pesto Orzo Soup
Calories Per Serving: 452 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, smashed
- red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 cups dry orzo pasta
- 6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 can white beans
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/2 bunch kale, finely shredded
- 1/2 cup basil pesto
- 1/2 cup whole milk or canned full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and chili flakes and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Drop in the butter, then stir in the orzo. Cook until golden, 1-3 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the beans and kale. Season with salt and pepper. If you have one, add a parmesan rind. Simmer 8-10 minutes until the orzo is al dente, stirring often. It should become very creamy.2. Stir in the pesto, milk, parmesan, and lemon, cook another few minutes until warmed through. 3. Divide the orzo and broth among bowls and add additional parmesan and black pepper. I like to add some fresh dill, parsley, or basil too!
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Thickening: the orzo will soak up the broth over time. If eating leftover, add additional broth to thin. It should be creamy, but with just a touch of liquid.