Rustic Parsley & Orzo Soup With Walnuts

Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr

Recipe by Anna Thomas featured in EatingWell Sept/Oct 2011

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just short of tender, 8 to 9 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water. Return to the pot and toss with 1 teaspoon oil; set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring frequently, always covering the pan again, until the onion is translucent and beginning to color, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, coarsely chop spinach. Coarsely chop enough parsley to equal about 4 cups. Set aside 3 cups and finely chop the remaining 1 cup; set aside separately.
  4. Peel and dice potato. Combine the potato, the sauteed onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, broth and water in a soup pot or Dutch oven. (Set the onion pan aside for later.) Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 12 minutes. Stir in the spinach and the 3 cups coarsely chopped parsley; return to a simmer, cover and cook for 3 minutes more.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the onion pan over medium heat. Add garlic and let it sizzle for about 45 seconds. Add walnuts and cook, stirring and watching carefully to prevent burning, for about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 cup parsley and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
  6. Stir the cooked orzo into the soup, then stir in the parsley-walnut mixture. Season with lemon juice and pepper. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt and/or pepper, if desired. Return the soup to a simmer.
  7. Combine tomatoes with the remaining pinch of salt in a small bowl. Garnish each bowl of soup with a spoonful of the tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil.
Most Helpful

I loooove this soup! My mom made it a few years ago, and I remembered it enough to make it once I was on my own. I had barley in my pantry, so I substituted that and it worked great! This soup is full of such healthy ingredients and tastes great! Even my boyfriend, who isn't usually one to like foods that taste healthy or vegetable-y, had a spoonful and said he could eat an entire bowl. Plus, all that parsley gives you 20% of your daily iron in each serving! I had no idea parsley was so high in iron! I could go on and on about this delicious soup. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

elisechristiane October 22, 2013