Hidden Veggie Orzo Soup

4.83 from 46 votes

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This Hidden Veggie Orzo Soup with 🐔 chicken is the ultimate comfort food, because not only is it easy, but it also has the most stunning color from the blended veggies.

This soup is for anyone who might be picky about their veggies and loves a smooth texture. I have been blending veggies into my soups and sauces for as long as I can remember so I know you will absolutely love it.

I hope that this recipe gives you inspiration and helps your little ones as I know how picky kids can be with veggies. With the busy school/work year, this recipe is perfect in a thermos, and I know kids and adults won’t be able to get enough! Soup is so comforting and cozy, it’s simply one of my favorite dishes to make.

Why You’ll Love Hidden Veggie Orzo Soup

One of my favorite things about this easy-to-prepare soup is how healthy it is! Your family will be getting a delicious serving of nutrient-dense veggies in this hearty 🥘 soup.

I also love how you can make this soup your own. Want to add some spinach? Need to make a lower-sodium version? Have a gluten allergy and need to use a substitute for the orzo? These are all easy changes you can make to this simple but delicious soup.

Lastly, I am obsessed with making balanced, one-pot meals, so you better believe that this one fits the bill. Chicken, vegetables, and orzo have all the primary food groups covered and will leave you feeling fuller for longer. Look no further for a flavorful dinner that the whole family can enjoy.

How To Prepare Hidden Veggie Orzo Soup

  • In a large pot, combine 💦 water and vegetable broth. Add the whole peeled and washed 🥕 vegetables and bring everything to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the 🐔 chicken. While everything cooks, remove any foam that accumulates on the surface with a 🥄 spoon. Then, season with salt, remembering that you can adjust later as needed.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover with a lid, and let it simmer for 45-60 minutes until the vegetables are soft, the chicken is cooked, and the broth has reduced.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and allow it to cool, then shred or cut the chicken, discarding any bones or skin, and set it aside.
  • With a slotted spoon, remove the whole vegetables from the pot. Place them in a blender along with two ladles of the clear broth. Blend until smooth, then add this mixture back into the pot.
  • Add the orzo to the pot and cook for 7-8 minutes or until it reaches an al-dente texture.
  • Incorporate the shredded chicken into the pot and add fresh 🌿 parsley for a garnish. Stir the soup well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Nonna’s Tip

Hot soup (or other hot liquids, for that matter) will steam and expand in a stand blender, which can push the top off and make a mess. When puréeing hot soup, do it in batches. Fill the blender 1/3 to 1/2 full, and remove or loosen the center cap from the lid of the blender. Cover the lid with a folded dishcloth and hold it down when blending.

Substitutes and Variations

Hidden Veggie Orzo Soup lends itself to a number of different add-ins or variations. Let me know in the comments if you try any!

  • Instead of chicken drumsticks, you can use chicken thighs, chicken breasts or even 🦃 turkey.
  • Feel free to switch up the vegetables based on your preferences or whatever you have in the fridge. If you choose to add leafy greens like spinach or kale, do so at the end of cooking the other vegetables.
  • If you don’t have orzo or don’t want to use it, you could swap it out for ditalini, small shells, or even 🍚 rice.
  • Try this recipe with different herbs like cilantro, basil or even dill.
  • If you need to make this recipe gluten-free, you could replace the orzo with rice, gluten-free pasta, or quinoa.
  • Want to make the soup 🔥 spicier? Add some 🌶 red pepper flakes, or some cayenne pepper.

Best Served With

Consider serving this easy Hidden Veggie Orzo Soup with some delicious homemade bread. Here are some of my favorites:

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Common Questions

How can I make sure my meat is fully cooked?

If you don’t feel confident, you can most definitely use a meat thermometer but I assure you, you don’t need one for this recipe.

How can I send this soup with my kids to school?

Add boiling hot water into a thermos and seal it so that the thermos preheats. In the meantime, warm up the soup/stew/pasta on the stove. Dump the hot water out of the thermos and add the soup. Leave some room at the top so that it doesn’t create a vacuum seal, making the thermos harder to open.

What kind of broth do you use?

I love any broths by Kettle and Fire. Click HERE and use my code THEMODERNNONNA for 20% off!

How can I store leftovers in the fridge?

Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Then, place it in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. Leftovers can be safely stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Can I freeze this?

If you have more leftovers than you can consume in a few days, freezing is a great option. Portion the soup into airtight containers or resealable freezer bags. Ensure there’s some room for expansion to prevent containers from cracking. Don’t forget to label the containers with the date. The soup can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

How do I prepare this from frozen?

When you’re ready to enjoy your leftover soup, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. To reheat, use a microwave, stovetop, or an oven. Make sure to heat it thoroughly until it’s steaming hot. You may need to add a bit of water or broth to adjust the consistency.

What kind of salt do you use?

I use Redmond Real Salt; please note that depending on the salt you use, your dish may be less or more salty. Salt is always to taste. Always taste and adjust as you cook.

Can I use something other than vegetable stock?

Yes, feel free to use ONLY water if you don’t want to add stock into the pot in the beginning. I have made it without stock many times and it’s just as delicious.

What type of onion should I use?

I usually use a whole peeled yellow onion but I didn’t have any on hand so I used a few shallots instead. Feel free to use any onion except red in this recipe.

How do I safely blend the hot vegetables before adding them back into the soup?

Hot soup (or other hot liquids, for that matter) will steam and expand in a stand blender, which can push the top off and make a mess. When puréeing hot soup, do it in batches. Fill the blender 1/3 to 1/2 full, and remove or loosen the center cap from the lid of the blender. Cover the lid with a folded dishcloth and hold it down when blending.

Can I use pasta, rice, or noodles instead?

Yes absolutely, you can use anything you love in chicken soup. Just be sure to add it in after you have taken out the boiled veggies and chicken.

Hidden Veggie Orzo Soup

This Hidden Veggie Orzo Soup with chicken is the ultimate comfort food, because not only is it easy, but it also has the most stunning color from the blended veggies. This soup is for anyone who might be picky about their veggies and loves a smooth texture.
4.83 from 46 votes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups unsalted organic veggie broth
  • 3 peeled shallots, or one whole peeled yellow/white onion
  • 2 celery ribs, cut in half
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ red bell pepper, any bell pepper works
  • 5 chicken drumsticks, you can use any cut of chicken but dark meat is the most flavourful
  • salt to taste , start with ½ a tablespoon and taste and adjust after the soup is cooked
  • ¾ cup orzo, or pastina
  • fresh parsley for garnish, to taste

Instructions 

  • Fill a big pot with water and organic unsalted vegetable broth. Add in the whole peeled and washed vegetables and let it come to a boil. Once boiling, add the chicken drumsticks or thighs. Skim off any foam with a spoon and add salt. Make sure to add more salt as you taste and adjust at the very end.
  • Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and semi-cover it with a lid. Let it go for 45-60 minutes or until the veggies are all super soft, the chicken is boiled, and broth has reduced.
  • You can now take out the chicken, let it cool, shred or cut it. If the chicken has bone or skin, you can compost it. Take out the whole veggies with a slotted spoon and throw them in the blender with two ladles of the clear broth.
  • Blend until everything is nice and smooth, add it back into the pot. Add the orzo and cook for 7-8 minutes or until al-dente. Add in the shredded chicken and fresh parsley for garnish, stir and enjoy.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 116mg, Sodium: 178mg, Potassium: 574mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 4089IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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32 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is a hit with the whole fam, including my picky 3 year old and my 1 year old! Thanks for finding a way to include the vegetables in. We alter it ever so slightly- omit red capsicum and parsley and pop a parsnip in. Very tasty! Perfect for cold winter days. And feels instantly healing when you have a cold ❤️‍🩹

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe countless times, its a household favourite! SO easy to make and tastes absolutely delicious.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this in my Dutch oven. added two small chicken breasts and two bone-in thighs. Followed directions except I cooked veggies in a bit of oil to start before adding water. Don’t know why I’ve just always done. It was so delicious. My son hates veggies except for green beans, he ate this soup until it was gone. Then wanted more.

  4. OMG this soup turned out amazing!! Just what the family needed while we are all sick. Even my son said it was delicious and that’s allot coming from him! Thank you for this recipe it is one I’m going to stock up on in the winter now.

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve been meaning to make this soup for the last few weeks and just got around to finally trying it out today anddd…it turned out so so sooo good! I didn’t have vegetable broth on hand so I just added some extra veggies and it worked well! I am actually excited to have a bowl of soup for lunch tomorrow!! Thank you Sneji