In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the onion and saute for a few minutes until soft and slightly translucent. Then add the garlic and saute for 30 more seconds. Next add the carrots and celery and saute about 2 more minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Add the vegetable broth, bay leaf, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the pot with the vegetables and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, blend the cashews and water in a high-speed blender until completely smooth. Set aside.
Once the soup has come to a boil, add the chickpeas and orzo to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is cooked al dente.
Stir in the cashew mixture and add salt and pepper, to taste.
If you do not have a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, soak the cashews in hot water for at least an hour before blending to soften.
Be sure to remove the yellow outside portion of the peel with a lemon zester before squeezing out the juice.
Storing:Leftover soup can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days days. The soup will thicken up, but a little water or vegetable broth can be added to it when re-heated, if desired.