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December: Butter Bean and Orzo Soup

Orzo is a type of pasta that is similar in appearance to rice. It’s ideal to use in soups. In this recipe it is paired with butter beans and tomatoes in a filling soup.  The base of the soup is carrot, onion and celery. We cooked it slowly and added some shredded cabbage towards the end of the recipe, but baby spinach would work just as well.  This is a thick and filling soup recipe, but you can add more stock if you prefer.

Serves 4 Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time  45 minutes


  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2/3 sticks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 750 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tin of butter bean, drained
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 250g orzo pasta
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 60 g shredded cabbage or spinach


Heat the oil in a large lidded pan and cook the celery, onion and carrots over a low heat for about 8-10 minutes. After a few minutes add the garlic.

Add the butter beans, tomatoes, herbs and spices and stir well. Next add the orzo and stock, bring it to the boil. Reduced the heat and cover with a lid to cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes.

Add the cabbage and replace the lid, leaving it to cook for another 15-20 minutes. Adjust the consistency to your taste by adding more water if needed, the orzo will absorb lots of the liquid.

Serve in bowls with a wholemeal roll.

You can view and print the shopping list here: Orzo and butterbean soup shopping list

You can print the recipe here: Orzo and butterbean soup recipe

You can print the step-by-step guide here: Orzo Soup photo recipe 

What’s in season this month?

As we enter the festive season we notice the links between food and celebration. Many of our traditions are celebrated with food. In the UK the following vegetables and fruit are ready to enjoy right now, Pears, Potatoes, Brussel sprouts, Spring green cabbage, Savoy cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Kale and Leeks.