Turkish Tomato Orzo Soup Recipe packs a ton of flavor with fewer than 10 ingredients in just 20 minutes. The combination of tomatoes, lemon, parsley and orzo makes the easiest pasta soup ever. You can always customize it with whatever vegetable you have on hand.
January and February are always the hardest months to get through. It’s dark, cold and summer seems all too far away. On this freezing day, I’d love to share mom’s orzo soup recipe, which used to be my favorite as a child. Like all Turkish moms, she used to make Tomato Chicken Orzo Soup when someone in the family got a cold, but other than that her ultimate soup was this simple version.
I love this tomato orzo soup because it brings the flavor of summer tomatoes into my kitchen at any time of year. Plus it’s so quick that I have time to cuddle up on the couch and relax at the end of the day, instead of standing over the stove.
How to Make Turkish Orzo Soup
This soup is ridiculously easy to make.
First, cook the tomato paste in oil for less than a minute over medium low heat, stirring quickly so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add finely chopped tomatoes and dried mint.
Next, add in water. Once the water starts to boil, it’s time to add the orzo and parsley. Orzo is a pasta so it doesn’t take long to cook, making this recipe extra fast to make. The soup is then finished with salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for balance. Feel free to add more lemon juice for a lemon orzo soup.
Notes About This Orzo Soup Recipe
- I find grating the tomatoes easier than chopping them finely. That’s something I learnt from mom. So you can do the same if grating is easier for you too. Also, if tomatoes aren’t in season or good ones are hard to find, you can use canned tomatoes.
- Another thing I learnt from mom is that adding the parsley with all its stems makes the soup even more flavorful. Don’t chop them if you don’t like it when pieces of stems float on your soup. Put the parsley sprigs in the pot as they are and leave them in the pot or just remove them when serving the soup.
- In Turkish cuisine, when making this soup, we use a combination of pepper paste and tomato paste, but just tomato paste is fine too.
Alternative Orzo Soup Recipes
While I was searching whether this Turkish style soup with orzo has a place in other cuisines, I came across with various orzo soup recipes.
To make a Greek lemon orzo soup, saute finely chopped onion in the oil until softened. Then add the tomato paste and continue with the recipe as written. Feta is a great final touch for this Greek variation when serving.
For an Italian wedding soup with orzo recipe, use the vegetables like onion, celery, carrot and spinach besides meatballs.
For a chicken orzo soup you can add cooked shredded chicken a few minutes before finishing the soup. Beef or turkey meatballs are also a great option for some added protein.
Orzo Soup Vegan Yet Flavorful
One of my favorite things about this soup is that it doesn’t require beef or chicken stock. All you need is water. It also doesn’t use any dairy, making it 100% vegan. Although orzo is a pasta and most pastas are made with egg, many orzo brands sold in stores are suitable for vegans. Just check the packaging before you buy!The tomatoes and garlic add all the flavor you’ll need. And the mint and parsley give it a fresh twist.
That said, if you’re not a vegan or vegetarian, feel free to use chicken or beef stock as a substitute for the water.
Is This a Gluten-Free Soup?
Whether or not this orzo soup recipe is gluten-free is dependent on the orzo you use. You can find gluten-free orzo or pasta brands at markets, so if you use one of them instead of regular orzo, your soup will be gluten-free.
How To Reheat Soup with Orzo
Just like the cooking process, reheating this soup is incredibly easy. You can use a microwave or do it on a stovetop. When reheating, it’s important to note that the orzo absorbs more liquid as it sits over time, so you’ll need to add water before heating again.
Can This Tomato Orzo Soup Be Frozen?
My orzo soup is easy to freeze and reheat (as mentioned above) but I find that there’s really no need since it’s so fast and easy to make. You can halve or double the amounts as needed to serve the right number of people and stir it all together in under 20 minutes.
I hope you enjoy adding my Turkish tomato orzo soup to your weekday dinner rota!
Want more soup recipes for winter? Check the following recipes out!Print
Turkish Tomato Orzo Soup
Orzo soup with tomatoes, garlic, dried mint, parsley and lemon juice. So easy to make yet tastes so good.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stove-top
- Cuisine: Turkish
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 5 cups water
- 1/3 cup orzo
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 sprigs parsley, not chopped
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- Heat olive oil in a pot. Add in tomato paste, tomatoes and dried mint. Cook over medium low heat until tender. You can add a little water if it gets too thick.
- Pour water and bring it to boil.
- Add in orzo and parsley when it boils and cook until orzo gets tender.
- Add in salt and lemon juice.
- Serve hot.
In Turkish cuisine, when making the soup, we sometimes use a combination of pepper paste and tomato paste, but just tomato paste is fine too.
Keywords: orzo soup, orzo soup recipe, tomato orzo soup
This post was published in 2011 and has been updated with new pictures and additional information.