Lemon White Bean and Spinach Soup
Lemony White Bean and Spinach Soup with Orzo is healthy, cozy, and comforting — packed with fresh greens, carrots, pasta, and cannellini beans — and easy to make in less than 30 minutes.
This post was originally published July 19, 2019, and has been updated with new photos and more helpful answers to questions throughout the post text.
When you want to cozy up with a big bowl of soup, this is sure to hit the spot. It’s quick and easy to make — less than 30 minutes start to finish — and packed with big flavors.
The ingredients are simple and straightforward, too. You’ll need a few items from the pantry — orzo, beans, and standard seasonings — and a few fresh veggies.
Added bonus? This soup is completely and effortlessly vegetarian. It reminds me a bit of the famous lemon chicken orzo soup sold at Panera, turned meatless and even more delicious! It’s perfect whether you’re feeding vegetarians or just trying to incorporate more meatless meals.
What kind of beans are good in vegetable soup?
To keep this recipe quick and easy, use canned white kidney, AKA cannellini beans. If you prefer, you can easily swap in chickpeas, pinto beans, or even red kidney beans. Use what you have!
How to make white bean spinach soup
- Cook veggies in a smidge of butter and olive oil.
- Season well with garlic and Italian seasoning.
- Add broth, boil, and cook orzo according to package directions.
- Stir in spinach and beans. Squeeze in a bit of fresh lemon and sprinkle on a bit of parsley, and serve!
Tips and tricks
- Cookware. You can make this soup in any large saucepan or in a Dutch oven. The one pictured here is my go-to for everyday family dinners.
- Orzo. Check the package directions to verify the correct cooking time for your brand of orzo. You want it to be tender but not at all mushy.
- Italian Seasoning. This is a spice cabinet staple for me, because it’s such a great shortcut for adding flavor to pasta and soups. If you don’t have it, you can use any combination of dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram. Don’t worry if you don’t have them all. Just use the ones you have.
- Leftovers. If you are likely to have extra soup, consider cooking the orzo separately and adding it to individual portions as you serve. This prevents the orzo from soaking up extra broth as the soup sits.
- Make it vegan. Leave out the butter, and use a vegan-certified broth.
This soup will definitely be making repeat appearances at my house, especially through the winter when our bellies need something simultaneously fresh and cozy. I hope it’s a hit for you, too!
More quick and easy soups
- White Bean Tortellini Soup
- Hearty Tortellini Chicken Noodle Soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Instant Pot!)
- Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup (Crockpot/Slow Cooker!)
- Creamy Carrot Red Pepper Soup
If you try this white bean and spinach soup, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
Lemon White Bean and Spinach Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from about 1/2 medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1-2 teaspoons dried
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10-12 cranks fresh-ground black pepper
- Warm olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots and sauté, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and Italian seasoning. Cook for 30-60 seconds, just until fragrant.
- Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Add orzo, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, just until the orzo is tender.
- Stir in the spinach and beans and allow about 1 minute for the spinach to wilt. Add lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
- Orzo. Check the package directions to verify the correct cooking time for your brand of orzo. You want it to be tender, but not at all over-cooked, so keep a close eye and when in doubt, proceed with the next step of stirring in the spinach and white beans.
- Leftovers? If you are likely to have leftovers, consider cooking the orzo separately and adding it to individual portions as you serve it. This prevents the orzo from soaking up extra broth as the soup sits.
- Seasoning. You may want to add more lemon juice, salt, and/or pepper according to your tastes. Start with the amounts listed here, and add more if desired.