Experience the bold flavors of Greece with this delicious Vegan Greek Lemon Orzo Soup (Avgolemono Soup). This rich, creamy, and lemony soup is the perfect vegan appetizer or lunch option. It’s a crowd-pleaser that’s easy to make and only requires one pot. Trust me, once you try it, it will become one of your most requested recipes from friends and family.
What is Avgolemono Made of?
“Avgolemono” translates to “egg-lemon” in Greek. As the name suggests, it is a traditional Greek soup made with beaten eggs and fresh lemon juice. While it is typically made with chicken broth or stock. This Veganized Vegan Greek Lemon Orzo Soup recipe swaps in rich and creamy tahini and salt-tangy miso to create a delicious vegan version of the classic dish. Perfect as a vegan appetizer or lunch item, this one-pot recipe is sure to please!
Ingredients & Substitutions: What Is In Vegan Greek Lemon Orzo Soup
The Vegan Greek Lemon Orzo Soup requires a variety of fresh ingredients that are both healthy and flavorful. Here’s a rundown of the ingredients you’ll need to make this tasty soup:
- White onion: A large white onion, diced, is used as a base for the soup and provides a sweet, savory flavor.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil are used to sauté the onion and other vegetables, adding richness and depth to the soup.
- Carrots and celery: Two large carrots and two ribs of celery, both diced, are added to the soup to give it a satisfying crunch and provide essential vitamins and minerals.
- Garlic: Three large cloves of minced garlic are used to add a pungent, aromatic flavor to the soup.
- Italian spice blend: Half a tablespoon of Italian spice blend, which usually includes dried herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme, adds a classic Mediterranean flavor to the soup.
- Chickpeas: A can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and lightly mashed, is added to the soup for a boost of plant-based protein and fiber.
- Chickenless stock or vegetable broth: Four cups of chickenless stock or vegetable broth serve as the base for the soup, adding a rich, savory flavor and plenty of nutrients.
- Hot water: One to two cups of hot water are added to the soup to adjust the consistency and ensure the vegetables are cooked through.
- Dill: A quarter cup of fresh dill, finely chopped and heaping, adds a bright, herbaceous flavor to the soup.
- Spinach: Three to four cups of baby spinach, chopped, are added to the soup for a boost of iron and a pop of green color.
- Nutritional yeast: Two tablespoons of nutritional yeast are used to add a cheesy, umami flavor to the soup.
- Orzo: Three-quarters of a cup of uncooked orzo, or use a rice like arborio.
- Salt and pepper: Salt and pepper are added to taste, bringing out the natural flavors of the soup.
For the Vegan Avgolemono, which is a traditional Greek sauce used in the soup, you will need the following ingredients:
- Lemon juice: The juice of one large lemon is used to add a bright, tangy flavor to the soup.
- Tahini: Two tablespoons of tahini, a creamy sesame paste, are typically used in the Vegan Avgolemono to thicken the sauce and add a nutty flavor. If you have an allergy to tahini, you can leave it out and the soup will still taste delicious.
- Broth: Two tablespoons of broth are used to thin out the Vegan Avgolemono and make it easier to mix into the soup.
- White miso paste: Two tablespoons of white miso paste, which is made from fermented soybeans, adds a salty, umami flavor to the Vegan Avgolemono.
- Soy sauce or tamari: One tablespoon of soy sauce or tamari adds an additional layer of savory flavor to the Vegan Avgolemono.
- Large stock pot
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Mixing bowl
How To Make This Vegan Avgolemono Soup
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over low heat.
Add in the diced onion, carrots, and celery and cook for approximately 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.
Add in the minced garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for another minute, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
Add the lightly mashed chickpeas, chickenless stock or vegetable broth, and nutritional yeast to the pot and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add in the uncooked orzo (or rice of your choice) and lower the heat to a simmer.
Cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until the rice is al dente.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the vegan avgolemono mixture by combining the lemon juice, tahini, broth, white miso paste, and soy sauce in a bowl.
Once the rice is cooked. Add the avgolemono mixture, chopped spinach, and chopped dill to the pot and continue to simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with your favorite bread and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks For This Vegan Greek Lemon Orzo Soup Recipe
- To make this recipe gluten-free, simply substitute the orzo with gluten-free rice or pasta of your choice.
- If you prefer a thicker soup, try adding an extra tablespoon of tahini to the avgolemono mixture.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Simply reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
FAQ: Vegan Greek Lemon Orzo Soup
Absolutely! Arborio rice is a great option to make this recipe gluten-free. It’s important to note that cooking times may also vary when using a different type of rice. If you choose to use Arborio, make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly. To ensure the rice is cooked to perfection in this delicious vegan lemon orzo soup.
While this soup can be frozen, the texture of the orzo rice may be affected when thawed and reheated. We recommend enjoying this soup fresh or storing any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Yes, you can use frozen spinach.
Vegan Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Orzo Soup)
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 3 large cloves minced garlic
- ½ tbsp italian spice blend (dried oregano can be substituted)
- 1 14oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and lightly mashed (you can leave them un-mashed if you prefer. But I find they absorb the flavour best when lightly mashed)
- 4 cups chickenless stock or vegetable broth
- 1-2 cups hot water (start with one and see if you need to add more)
- ¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped, heaping
- 3-4 cups baby spinach, chopped
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¾ cup un-cooked orzo (use arborio rice for a gluten-free option)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Vegan Avgolemono:
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 2 tbsp tahini (I've left this out due to an allergy and it still tasted delicious)
- 2 tbsp broth
- 2 tbsp white miso paste
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- In a large stock pot add your olive oil, onions, carrots, and celery. Cook on low heat for about 8 mins. Add in your minced garlic and italian seasoning and cook for another minute. Stir regularly to make sure they don't stick to the pan and burn.
- While the rice is cooking, make your vegan avgolemono by mixing all ingredients together in a bowl. (tahini, lemon juice, broth, white miso, and soy sauce.)
- Once the rice is al dente, add in the avgolemono mixture, spinach and dill and simmer for about another 3 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, serve with your favourite bread and enjoy!
This Vegan Lemon Orzo Soup has been so highly requested by my family and friends that I’ve been making it in double batches! Vegan soup does not have to be boring or leave you feeling hungry. So incredibly satisfying, flavourful, and packed with protein, this plant-based soup will be your new favorite lunch or Greek appetizer!