Orzo is one of my favorite pastas, and soup is one of my favorite foods. I just love the texture of orzo, and it’s really great in a soup, so it’s perfect. You know I’m a huge Heidi Swanson fan, so I found a soup in her Super Natural Cooking cookbook.
I wanted a vegan soup, and this one was vegetarian, so I had to take out the cheese and eggs, and make it work for me. I think you’ll be as satisfied as I was if you give it a try. Check it out….
7 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup orzo
1 3/4 cups finely chopped spinach
14oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (drained)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
7 green onions chopped (green and white parts)
sea salt to taste
Optional: 1 sliced carrot, 2 stalks celery chopped, 1/2 chopped white onion
Pour the vegetable broth in a stockpot, and if you choose to add the optional vegetables, throw them in now. Bring to a boil. Make sure to skim the top of the soup if any foam rises to the top. While you are waiting for your vegetable broth to boil, grab a separate pot, boil water, and pour in your orzo until just done. This should take around 10 minutes. I am not a fan of cooking pasta in the broth you will be eating because it makes it a bit starchy.
While you are waiting for the broth and orzo to boil, go ahead and pour the fire roasted tomatoes, with about a tablespoon of good olive oil in a small skillet or saucepan, add the red pepper flakes, and set to medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes and set heat to warm. Pour the spinach and scallions in the vegetable broth once it starts boiling. Once the orzo is finished, drain and add the pasta to the broth. Cook for about 3 more minutes to make sure all of the flavors are blended together. Once the soup is finished, ladle into a bowl, spoon a generous portion of the tomato mixture into the soup, sprinkle some olive oil, and add some salt if needed. You’re done! YUM!
Musings & After Thoughts:
This recipe is great for improvising which gives you the option to use any leftovers that you may have in your refrigerator, freezer, or pantry. I used a big batch of broth that I had frozen, and already had vegetables in it (carrots, turnips, onions, and celery), which is why I listed those as optional.
I originally wanted to use whole wheat orzo, but I couldn’t find that anywhere. The fire roasted tomatoes with the red pepper flakes do make the soup pretty spicy, so if you do not like spicy feel free to use any other type of canned tomato (chopped or crushed would work just fine as well) and omit the red pepper flakes.
Salt is all about preference. I did add a pinch of salt to taste, but I am not a fan of adding a lot of salt or any if I don’t have to. I prefer to taste and enjoy food for its original flavor. But, let’s face it, sometimes we need a little salt to bring out the flavor, but not so much that it takes over the dish.
After I was finished, I decided to just add the tomato mixture into the broth, and poured the soup into soup bowl sized Tupperware (thanks to all the orders of soup from Chinese and Thai restaurants), and freeze. Soup is one of my favorite foods, and this is one of my favorites for simplicity, quickness, and improvising!
Make sure to eat slow and really take in the flavor and scent of this soup. If you enjoy it spicy, this soup will be sure to help clear your sinuses and congestion. This soup is great for any occasion, and I hope you enjoy!