Your new favorite soup is here! Say hello to award-winning (check the comments!) Chickpea Soup with orzo, fresh lemon juice, spinach and cashews for creaminess. This healthy one-pot-meal tastes even better as leftovers. Shockingly dairy-free. Grab your soup pot and let's get cooking!
I have a knack for making hella creamy soups sans cream. They're just so satisfying to make. And even more fun to eat!
If you're in the fan club of my Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup or Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup, you're going to be obsessed with this recipe that uses the humble cashew to its finest capabilities.
She's a riff on Greek lemon chicken soup, or avgolemono. Quite the mouthful!
Cozy, filling, and comforting to boot, this meal in a bowl makes me feel bright and happy. And oy, how we all need more bright and happy right now.
Hugs all around in soup form!
- Mirepoix: An aromatic base of onion, celery, carrots and garlic adds so much flavor and veggie goodness.
- Dill: A unique and delicious herby addition that really brings this chickpea soup recipe to the next level! Dried and fresh both work (double if using fresh). Dill and lemon are quite the dynamic duo.
- Chickpeas: For plant protein and to make this more filling and meal-like. You could even do 2 cans if you fancy for extra chickpea lovin'.
- Orzo: Lovely orzo helps thickens the soup, adds body, and textural intrigue. You can use regular or whole wheat if you can find it. Readers have had success with lots of grains; see the comments!
- Spinach: I love that I can put a whole bunch of greens in here and they just add to the flavor.
- Water: So easy since we all have it!
- Cashews: Easy cashew cream lends velvety smoothness and mouthfeel. Raw is ideal for the best flavor. A staple in my Vegan Soup Recipes!
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice adds amazing brightness and depth to this soup.
Substitutions and dietary swaps
- Gluten-free: Sub quick-cooking brown rice, see recipe notes.
- Orzo: No orzo? Try orecchiette pasta. You could also do brown rice, basmati rice, or wild rice. Reduce the liquid to 5 cups if you're using a cooked grain since they won't soak up liquid.
- Play with the veggies. Broccoli, mushrooms, chard, kale, bell peppers...they'd all be yummy here. Readers comment that other herbs like basil are also delish here.
How to make (step by step)
Place cashews in a bowl and cover with hot water.
Cook onion, carrot and celery for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add spinach, water, dill and chickpeas. Bring to a boil over then simmer for 10 minutes. Add orzo and cook for another 8 minutes.
Drain cashews and to blender with 1 cup water until very smooth and creamy. Add along with lemon, salt and pepper.
Season to taste and serve!
Stellar serving ideas
This soup is spectacular with a hunk of crusty bread or buttery croutons. What soup isn't?!
It would also be delightful with an acid-forward green salad to balance the creaminess (this apple cider vinegar dressing would be fab).
Storing, freezing and reheating
Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To freeze, place completely cooled soup in a freezer bag and lay in the freezer flat. It will keep for up to 3 months. This is a great nourishing soup to make for new moms!
Thaw overnight in the fridge. You can reheat in the stovetop or the microwave.
I hope you're as obsessed with this fun recipe as I am!
I'd be super grateful if you'd take a moment to leave a quick star rating and review below. Comments mean the world to me and your honest feedback helps me to continue to share recipes you'll crave!Print
Your new favorite soup is here! Say hello to cozy and bright Chickpea Soup with orzo, fresh lemon juice, spinach and cashews for creaminess. This healthy one-pot-meal tastes even better as leftovers. Shockingly dairy-free. Grab your soup pot and let's get cooking!
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups spinach
- 7 cups water, divided
- 1 tbsp dried dill, to taste (or use double the amount of fresh!)
- 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ⅔ cup orzo
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tsp salt, or to taste + freshly ground black pepper
- Place cashews in a bowl and cover with hot water.
- Heat oil in a large pot or over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add spinach, 6 cups water, dill (I use 1 tbsp) and chickpeas. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add orzo and cook for another 8 minutes (or until orzo is tender), stirring often so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove soup from heat. Drain cashews and add to high-speed blender with remaining 1 cup water (I use my ) until very smooth and creamy.
- Add cashew cream to soup along with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. (Soup made with water needs LOTS of salt to bring it to life, so don't be shy! I always add more). Keep in mind the soup will thicken significantly and get amazingly creamy as it sits from the starch of the orzo, so don't fret if it appears thinner at first.
*My original recipe called for ⅔ cup brown rice instead of orzo, which was added to the soup in step 2 and cooked for 35-45 minutes, or until tender.
Broth can be used instead of water, but reduce the salt (to taste).