Vegan Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup + Video

By Alexandra Caspero on October 10, 2021
A healthy comforting soup, with a refreshing lemon twist!
Serves 4-6

You are going to love this vegan lemon chickpea orzo soup! It’s like chicken noodle soup for grown ups, a plant-based twist on Greek avgolemono soup. 

A one pot soup filled with vegetables, garbanzo beans and orzo pasta. Finished with a generous squirt of lemon juice for a bright + bold fall soup.

The moment chilly weather starts to roll in, I make a big pot of this soup. It’s one of my favorite recipes, and one of yours too! Originally published in 2014 this soup has been a big hit with everyone who tries it. 

If you’re looking for a simple, healthy, hearty plant-based meal then you’ve gotta try this lemon chickpea orzo soup.

Ingredients you’ll need:

The beauty of this recipe is that you can make it from mostly pantry ingredients. Here is everything you will need:

  • Orzo Pasta, preferably whole-wheat if you can find it
  • A can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • A sprig of rosemary and dried thyme

That’s it! Less than 10 ingredients to create a delicious soup rich in plant-based protein.

a single bowl of orzo soup with lemon

How to make this Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup

This soup is designed for weeknight cooking. You’ll start by simmering chopped onions, carrots and celery in olive oil over medium heat until tender. This is known as a mirepoix, a flavorful soup based made from diced vegetables cooked in fat. It’s what gives this soup so much flavor!

From there, you’ll add in crushed garlic, thyme and vegetable broth of choice. Since the broth you use makes a huge difference in the flavor of your soup, I’d highly recommend tasting your broth before adding it to the soup. My favorite brands are Orrington Farms Not Chicken Broth, Veggie Better than Bouillon and Pacific Food’s vegetable broth. 

Once the vegetables are cooking, stir in the orzo pasta along with the canned chickpeas and simmer until pasta is tender. For additional flavor, I add in a small sprig of fresh rosemary and dried bay leaves to the pot as it’s cooking. 

Right before the soup is finished, add in a generous splash of fresh lemon juice. A squirt of lemon juice at the end is transformative and is the is secret ingredient that gives this soup so much flavor and makes it really special.

Soup pan of lemon chickpea orzo soup

The secret for making good soup great

My number one tip for incredible soup? Add some acid, like lemon juice. A small amount of an acid like lemon juice or vinegar added at the end of cooking a soup really brightens the overall flavor. I do this for most of my soup recipes and it’s a chef’s tip that makes good soups taste great. 

Start with a little bit of lemon juice, taste and adjust, until your soup tastes balanced and bright. 

Bowl of lemon chickpea orzo soup

How to store leftovers

​If you have any leftovers, you’ll place the soup in an airtight, freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3-4 months. Soups make a fantastic freezer meal and this one is no exception. 

For easier meal prep, I often double a batch of this vegan soup. One batch to enjoy that night and the other to store in an airtight container in the freezer for dinner in a few weeks. 

How much protein does this soup contain? 

Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein, with 1/2 cup containing 8g of protein and 7g of fiber. It’s this combination that makes a vegan soup like this one incredibly satisfying! Protein, fiber (and fat) help to improve fullness and satiation. 

If you want to learn more about plant-based protein, including 40+ free plant-based protein recipes, make sure to grab my free 7-day course here.

Two bowls of lemon chickpea orzo soup with larger soup pan

Can you add spinach or kale to this soup recipe?

Yes, you can add finely chopped kale, spinach or baby spinach to this recipe if you’d like. I recommend a cup stirred in during the last 5 minutes of cooking to just wilt slightly before serving.  

If you like this chickpea orzo soup, you will love these other vegan soup recipes:

Close up bowl of orzo soup

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 
This recipe was originally published in 2014 and updated in 2021. 

Vegan Soup bowl with chickpeas, orzo and lemon

Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, soup
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Like chicken noodle soup for grown ups. And vegetarians. A one-pot soup filled with vegetables, garbanzo beans and orzo pasta. Finished with a generous squirt of lemon juice for a bright + bold fall soup.

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, soup
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, soup
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and finely sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 6 cups vegetable broth + 1 cup water
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small sprig rosemary
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice


  1. First, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Then, add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  2. Next, add the thyme and pinch of pepper; stir together.
  3. Then, add the vegetable broth and water and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the chickpeas, rosemary, orzo and bay leaf. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes until orzo is cooked through.
  5. Finally, reduce heat to low and stir in lemon juice.

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge


Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Brennan
      June 9, 2023 AT 8:16 pm

      I’m curious why you drain and rinse the chickpeas. Wouldn’t using them undrained just add extra body to the broth of the soup given the thicker viscosity of the aquafaba?

      1. Alex
        June 11, 2023 AT 7:22 am

        You could certainly do that!

    2. Elisa
      February 1, 2022 AT 12:03 pm

      This looks great! Do you think i could use rice instead of orzo? Would it absorb too much water? I know it’s not the same thing but it’s all I have ‍

      1. Alex
        February 1, 2022 AT 12:32 pm

        That should work! You may need to adjust broth amounts, but I’d try it.

    3. Tiffany Jackson
      January 19, 2021 AT 6:31 pm

      This soup is wonderful! I made this on a snowy evening and it was perfect. I omitted the celery (only because I didn’t have any) and added 1 teaspoon of tahini to each bowl before serving. Thanks for such a great recipe,

      1. Alex
        January 20, 2021 AT 4:53 am

        Ohhh love the idea of adding in tahini!

    4. Chelle
      January 3, 2021 AT 2:29 pm

      Easy and tasty

      1. Alex
        January 4, 2021 AT 9:09 am

        Thanks, Chelle!

    5. Rachel
      November 12, 2020 AT 12:34 pm

      My absolute favorite soup recipe ever! I make this often during winter, it gets pretty cold in Chicago and this warms me right up. Even my boyfriend who loves meat loves this soup as is! I’ve shared it with several people who have also loved it 🙂

    6. Krystle
      October 14, 2020 AT 8:20 pm

      I love this recipe! It’s one that I make many times a year during soup season. Question for you, is there a way to make it gluten free or use a sub like rice? I tried subbing gluten free orzo and it completely melted and made the soup very thick and slimy. I don’t want to give this recipe up as I love it! Just need a measurement for rice or a suggestion for what could be a good sub! Thank you 🙂

      1. Alex
        October 20, 2020 AT 11:09 am

        I think rice would be great! I’d cook it and then rinse it before adding to the soup.

    7. lani
      September 22, 2020 AT 11:35 am

      Did anyone need to add more veggie broth at the end? alot of the broth was diminished as the soup cooled

      1. Alex
        November 12, 2020 AT 2:09 pm

        Hi Lani– yes, the orzo will soak up more rice as it cools. If you know you want leftovers, I’d recommend keeping the orzo and soup separate until about to eat.

    8. Ana
      May 5, 2019 AT 3:34 pm

      I made this soup today, without the chickpeas and celery, but I added a bag of frozen peas with grated carrots, a sprig of cilantro and a diced tomato. Oh, and i used vegan protein broth. It was delicious!

    9. Julie Hoover
      February 3, 2019 AT 6:58 pm

      This was unique and delicious! I didn’t have any Rosemary, so added more thyme and some oregano. Decided to add more lemon after tasting – ended up doubling. Love the what the lemon adds! Better than Chicken Soup for a winter cold!! Thank you!

      1. Alex
        February 4, 2019 AT 7:43 am

        So glad you liked it! Thanks Julie!

    10. Taylor
      January 4, 2019 AT 1:14 pm

      What type of onion? And what size can of chickpeas? I can’t wait to try! Looks delish.

      1. Alex
        January 7, 2019 AT 2:09 pm

        Medium onion and a 15 ounce can of chickpeas! Updating the recipe now. Thanks!

        1. Roxanne
          March 7, 2019 AT 9:21 am

          Thanks for that, I was unsure of the size of can for the chick peas. I am making this tonight! I have always loved the avgolemono soup (Greek. egg, lemon and chicken soup) so I I’m sure this will be great!

          1. Alex
            March 7, 2019 AT 2:01 pm

            Yes! I love that one too- hope you enjoy it!