This Orzo and Kale Stew is plant-based comfort food that brings together wholesome kabocha squash, earthy kale, and al dente orzo pasta. With only 30 minutes of cooking time, this vegan orzo and kale stew is a true winter warmer that fills your belly and nourishes your soul.
THE BEST ORZO STEW RECIPE
This Orzo and Kale Stew is a flavor and nutrition bomb of epic proportions. Adorned with creamy butter beans, slightly nutty garbanzo beans, and my favorite fall squash, Kabocha, this vegan stew is full of flavor and plant-based protein. Kale offers vitamins and minerals, while orzo adds a chewy yet hearty texture. No better way to get your daily dose of hearty greens and protein-packed beans.
Best of all, it's completely adaptable to whatever herbs, extra proteins, or pasta shapes you have in your pantry. This flexibility allows you to tailor the stew based on whatever ingredients you have on hand, minimizing food waste and maximizing flavor.
If you're lucky enough to have a loaf of crusty bread nearby, don't miss out on the opportunity to soak up all the rich and savory flavors of the broth. Trust me, you'll thank me later!
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WHAT ARE BUTTER BEANS?
Let me spill the beans about butter beans - these little guys are lima beans' hot cousins! With their large, flat shape, slightly sweet flavor, and buttery texture, they are a total game-changer in the world of legumes. Don't let your childhood nightmares of mushy lima beans ruin your love of these delicate and soft white beans! These hearty legumes are decadent, textural, and delectable and are a staple in various cuisines worldwide and particularly popular in Southern and American dishes. I am obsessed with the creamy texture of butter beans and love to incorporate them into my soups, stews, salads, and side dishes.
They taste delicious in this orzo and kale stew, contributing to an addictively creamy texture and nutritional value. If butter beans are not available, try cannelloni beans or northern beans. Please do not use lima beans, and if you do, please don't tell me.
ABOUT KABOCHA SQUASH
Also known as Japanese pumpkin, Kabocha is a pumpkin-shaped winter squash with a hard, knobby green skin featuring celadon-to-white stripes. It shares the flavor profile and texture of sweet potato and pumpkin with vibrant yellow-orange flesh. It's the king of all squashes with a sweeter flavor than butternut squash.
When you use Kabocha in a soup or stew, it adds a rich depth of flavor that other squashes can't replicate. The texture is amazing - it's starchy like potatoes, but it breaks down as it cooks, which can thicken your soup without a slurry or roux.
Kabocha is abundant on the market during the fall months. However, if you can't find one, substitute it for butternut squash or sweet potato.
WHY DO I LOVE SOUP?
I fancy myself as a master soup maker. Many years of restaurant cooking have taught me the value of using extra ingredients. This is the best way to prevent food waste and revenue loss. Now, I use these lessons from managing restaurant food costs in my own home kitchen. I craft quick, easy, and tasty soups that delight my family and keep my wallet happy and full. Like this savory orzo and kale stew! This vegan stew is surprisingly easy to make.
ORZO AND KAL STEW INGREDINTS
Orzo Pasta – A small, rice-shaped pasta that serves as the base of this kale stew to add texture.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – For sautéing and enhancing the overall richness of the dish.
Onion – A foundational aromatic that adds depth, mild sweetness, and savory notes to the stew.
Garlic Cloves – Infuse a robust flavor and aroma to elevate the overall taste.
Celery – Adds refreshing crunch and a subtle earthy flavor.
Kabocha Squash – Offers a sweet and nutty taste, complementing savory elements.
Kale – A nutritional powerhouse that brings hearty texture and earthy flavor.
Butter Beans – Creamy and buttery in texture, these beans contribute to the stew's heartiness.
Chickpeas – Provide a nutty undertone and plant-based protein boost.
Carrots – Add sweetness and vibrant color to the stew.
Green Peas – For mild sweetness and a pop of color.
Tomatoes – Imparts a juicy and tangy essence to balance the flavors.
Salt – Enhances the overall taste profile.
Smoked Paprika – Infuses a smoky and spicy flavor.
Italian Seasoning – A blend of dried herbs for a Mediterranean flair.
Crushed Red Pepper and Black Pepper – For a hint of heat and spice, according to your preference.
HOW TO MAKE ORZO AND KALE STEW
Soup is perfect for jazz cooking since it's easy to improvise, substitute, and adapt to your own tastes and ingredients. Take this ORZO AND KALE STEW recipe and let your imagination run wild, and that too just with the on-hand pantry staples. Be bold, be daring, and make it truly your own. If you follow my recipe, you will be very happy with your steaming bowl of comforting vegan orzo and kale Stew. But when you veer off course on your own path, making your own choices, THAT is when you are truly cooking!
Cook the orzo according to the package instructions. Set it aside for later.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté onions and garlic in a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil until fragrant, approximately 2-3 minutes.
Add celery, carrots, and kabocha squash to the pot. Season with salt and cook for an additional 5 minutes until the vegetables soften.
Add chopped tomatoes to the pot and cook until they release their juices, approximately 2 minutes.
BRING TO BOIL
Pour in 10 cups of water and add butter beans, chickpeas, kale, green peas, and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
SERVE AND GARNISH
When serving, add cooked orzo to each bowl to prevent swelling. Garnish with black pepper, crushed red pepper, and optionally, vegan parmesan.
The best way to make soup
Take this recipe and interpret it to your own tastes, available ingredients and skills. Soup is perfect for jazz cooking since it's easy to improvise, make substitutions and adapt to make your own. When you follow my recipe, you will be very happy with your steaming bowl of comforting vegan orzo and kale Stew. But when you veer off course on your own path, making your own choices, THAT is when you are truly cooking!
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SUCCESS TIPS FOR THE BEST ORZO AND KALE STEW
- When making soup with noodles, I recommend cooking and storing them separately rather than adding them directly to the pot, as they tend to swell, absorb all the broth, and give soups an unpleasant texture. I add the noodles cold to a steaming hot bowl of soup, and it brings it to just the right temperature for eating!
- One of the remarkable aspects of this ORZO AND KALE STEW recipe is its adaptability. If Kabocha is not available, substitute whatever squash is available, like butternut squash or even pumpkin. If you like, skip the squash and add potatoes instead.
- Soup is a great way to use leftover ingredients and prevent food waste. Don't be afraid to add herbs or other veggies. It is best to avoid broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts because they change the broth flavor too much.
- If you have gluten sensitivity, use wild rice or gluten-free noodles such as Banza or Trader Joe's Lentil Pastas.
Other Delicious Vegan Soups
Orzo and Kale Stew
- large pot or dutch oven https://fieldcompany.com/products/field-cast-iron-dutch-oven
- ½ pound orzo pasta
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 2 cups kabocha squash peeled and cubed
- ½ bunch kale chopped
- 15 oz can butter beans drained
- 15 oz can chickpeas drained
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped
- ½ cup green peas
- 3 tomatoes chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 Crushed red pepper and black pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp Vegan parmesan Optional: 1 cup ground cashews, ½ teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons hempseeds
- cook orzo according to package and set aside.
- in a large pot or dutch oven cook onions and garlic until fragrant 2-3 minutes-add celery, carrots and kabocha, season with salt and cook for 5 minutes
- add tomatoes and cook until they begin to release their juices 2 minutes-
- add in 10 cups water, butter beans, chickpeas, kale, green peas and spices-
- bring to a boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes-
- add orzo when serving to avoid the pasta swelling and getting soggy
- garnish with pepper, crushed red pepper and vegan parmesan