Made from canned white beans and tomatoes, plus broth and seasonings, this is an easy slow cooker soup to throw together. The orzo is added in the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Finish the bowls of soup with a squeeze of lemon, grated parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs. I like serving this white bean soup with crunchy, salty crackers on the side.
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (or two shallots)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with your palm
- 2 carrots, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed (cannellini, navy or great northern)
- 9 cups water or vegetable or chicken broth (or a combination of water and broth)*
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or just throw several wholes sprigs in)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt, pulse more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- A squeeze of lemon
- Optional: One cup frozen spinach or kale
*This recipe adds an extra cup of water/broth (9 cups instead of 8) because when you add orzo pasta at the end, it will absorb some of the liquid. I find that using only 8 cups of water/broth makes the soup too thick. If you prefer a thicker soup with less broth, then jut add 7 or 8 cups of liquid.
Recipe Tip: Some slow cooker recipes require sauteing the onion and garlic before adding them to the crock pot. This is because slow cookers don't always fully cook onion, and sauteing also helps boost the flavor of onion and garlic. You can do this if you like, but I find that simply microwaving the onion and garlic achieves nearly the same results and is quicker and easier.
- Either saute onion, garlic and carrots in olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes (to soften and lightly brown) or combine onion, garlic and carrots with olive oil in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 3 to 5 minutes, stopping to stir once or twice, until the onion is soft.
- Add onion, garlic and carrots to the slow cooker along with the next 8 ingredients: tomato paste, tomatoes, beans, broth/water, Italian seasoning, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Secure the lid and program the slow cooker to cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- In the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking, add the orzo.
- Stir the soup well to make sure the orzo is cooked. If adding frozen greens, stir the greens in now.
- Add a squeeze of lemon and more salt to taste. If you used water instead of broth, you’ll definitely need to add more salt.
- This soup keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The orzo will continue to absorb a little water and the soup will get thicker. You might want to add more water and seasoning to soup each time it’s reheated.
- You can also freeze the soup in a Ziploc freezer bag. When reheating, add more water to the soup if it’s too thick.
This recipe is made in a 6-quart slow cooker.
This soup is ready to eat after 6 hours on low, but if you leave it in the slow cooker for 8 hours, the flavors get a little bit richer. Do what works best for you schedule!
- Category: Soup
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: white bean soup, white bean and tomato soup, bean and orzo soup, orzo soup, slow cooker soup