Maybe you are familiar with a traditional Greek soup called Avgolemono? It’s a lemony chicken soup with a creamy, velvet-y texture thanks to the addition of beaten eggs. I know this soup well, but not because I’m a fan. Rather, it’s one of my mom’s favorites. She orders it almost every time we visit our favorite Greek restaurant.
I don’t eat chicken or eggs, so the original version of this soup isn’t for me. However, my vegan-ized version hits all the same flavor notes but without meat, dairy or eggs. Let me tell you though, it’s freaking delicious & you won’t miss the chicken or the eggs. Super satisfying, comforting and flavorful, my Lemony White Bean & Orzo soup is a vegan winner for both meat-eaters and meat-fryers alike.
In my version, I’ve replaced the chicken with white beans and replaced the eggs with a creamy blend of cashews & soup broth. I also added more veggies and herbs than the original, for complexity and satiety. But just like the OG, lots of fresh lemon juice gives this soup it’s primary flavor-profile. One word? Scrumptious. Let me know if you give it a try!
Lemony White Bean & Orzo Soup
(aka Vegan Avgolemono Soup)
vegan | healthy | dairy-free
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled/diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried dill
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 cups vegetable broth/stock (low sodium-preferred)
2.5 cups soaked dry white beans or 2 cans beans, drained/rinsed
1.5 cups dry orzo pasta (whole wheat preferred)
3-4 tbs lemon juice, to taste
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked if needed
black pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion/carrot/celery and 1 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and herbs/spices. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add stock, 3 cups water, white beans and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, partially cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add orzo & lemon, simmer until pasta is cooked (stir often & add more water if needed).
Remove about 1 cup of the soup broth for the pot. Allow to cool slightly, then carefully blend cashews with the warm soup liquid. I use a high speed blender with unsoaked cashews and it takes about 60 seconds to get it velvet-y smooth. Add cashew mixture into soup, stir and heat through. Season with salt, pepper & more lemon juice, to taste.