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Vegetable-Noodle Soup

This is our favorite Vegetable-Noodle Soup prepared in ONE pot with an array of mixed veggies, orzo pasta, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Grab some crusty bread and let's get started!
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword vegetable noodle soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 296kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost 7.42

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup each: finely diced onion, carrot, celery Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (~3 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley
  • Fine sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock Note 2
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Parmesan rind, optional (Note 3)
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 cup each: frozen corn, frozen peas
  • Optional: 1 cup diced cooked chicken
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley, 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, Parmesan cheese
  • For serving: crusty bread

Instructions

  • VEGGIES: Heat olive oil in a large (5.5-quart) heavy pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, 7-9 minutes or until veggies are crisp tender. Veggies shouldn't be browning; reduce the heat if they are. Take time to get them really tender here. (See Note 1.)
  • SEASONINGS: Add the seasonings to the veggies: Italian seasoning, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, salt and pepper. (Season to taste with salt and pepper; I add 1/4 teaspoon each but adjust depending on saltiness of stock and cheese). Stir seasonings for 30 seconds.
  • ORZO: Pour in the chicken stock and add in the bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Bring soup to a boil. Once boiling, stir in the orzo pasta and return to a boil. Boil for 6-9 minutes, uncovered, or until orzo is al dente (still has a bite to it).
  • FINISHING: Once orzo is al dente, stir in corn and peas to warm through, 1 more minute. (Add chicken here too, if using). Remove from heat, taste, and season with any additional salt and pepper if needed. Remove Parmesan rind and bay leaves; discard. Stir through minced, fresh parsley (I add 3 tablespoons) if using. Ladle into bowls and top with fresh thyme and freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired (Note 4). Serve with some crusty bread -- yum!
  • STORAGE: The longer this soup sits, the thicker it gets. The pasta will continue to absorb liquid until there is practically none left. For this reason, this soup is best enjoyed right after being prepared. If you have leftovers, note the pasta will be bloated a bit (still tasty!) Thin leftover soup with additional chicken or vegetable stock.

Video

Notes

Note 1: Veggies: this is about 1 yellow onion, 3 celery stalks, 2-3 large carrots. Be sure to dice these veggies fairly small (use a food processor for ease/speed). Really take the time to throughly sauté these veggies for best soup flavor and to ensure they're completely tender.
Note 2: Chicken or Vegetable Stock: The better the stock, the better the soup will taste. We highly recommend Swanson® chicken or vegetable stock — it’s our favorite! This amount of stock results in a thick soup (which we love). If you'd like it thinner, add a touch more.
Note 3: Parmesan rind: (Optional) The rind on Parmigiano Reggiano is a protective layer that develops on the outside of the cheese wheel as it ages. It's technically edible, but becomes tough to chew and very hard. That said, these rinds are packed full of flavor and do wonders for enriching the flavor of sauces, soups, stews, etc. If you have one lingering in your fridge throw it in -- you are going to love what it adds! Tip: Check your local cheese counter at the grocery store (anywhere they carve big wheels of Parmesan to sell in smaller pieces). Ask to purchase a rind and they may sell you just the rinds at a reduced rate!
Note 4: Parmesan: We like grating a touch extra of Parmesan with a microplane right on top of individual bowls. This gives the cheese the best possible texture and it melts beautifully into the bowl of soup.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients, including the Parmesan rind and cooked chicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 395mg | Potassium: 630mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 5873IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg