Italian Orzo Tomato Spinach Soup
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This soup is loaded with classic Italian flavors and it’s simple to make! Orzo tomato spinach soup is completely vegetarian friendly and it’s so warm and comforting! The perfect soup so serve on a chilly day.
But first, I have had a few weeks of crazy that i’ve been dealing with. It started off with a cookie recipe that went terribly, horribly wrong. My thumbprint cookies, let’s just say they didn’t really have a thumbprint in them. They were completely flat. It looked like an elephant had decided to take a seat right on my cookie. Here’s a visual.
And then earlier this week was my favorite of all! I was making a big batch of my all-time favorite red velvet cupcake recipe (it’s coming soon!) and then it happened. The latch opened on my Kitchen Aid mixer just as I was lifting the machine and. red velvet. batter. everywhere. all over the oven. trickling down the cabinets. the floor. blood red. Oooof!
I think I went through a whole roll of kitchen napkins and at least half a box of Swiffer wipes.
Needless to say, this orzo tomato spinach soup was exactly what I needed after the red velvet incident. A big hearty bowl of soup it was! Even though we’re creeping back up to the mid 70’s here in Texas, I refuse to let go of my soups. It’s better than having them in 110 degrees, right?
So this recipe uses one of my favorite pastas – orzo. How can you not love those itty-bitty wittle things? They soak up the broth of this soup so nicely. I love making one pot meals like this soup, where everything is cooked together. It not only cuts down the dishes, it also maximizes the flavors of all the ingredients too.
My favorite part about this recipe is that it tastes like it’s been cooking for hours when it really takes just under 30 minutes to whip up. The secret to making this orzo soup taste like it’s been on the slow cooker is the roasted garlic. Roasting the garlic prior to adding it in this orzo spinach soup makes the flavor stand out a bit more without being overwhelming the way garlic usually is. I’ll warn you now, roasting the garlic is going to make your home smell irresistibly like garlic bread. ♥
I like to roast garlic and keep it in the fridge (it can be frozen up to 3 months, too). I use it in all these super simple dishes and it makes them all taste fancy shmancy. And it’s takes a total or 5 minutes worth of prep work. That’s it.
So this recipe starts with a simple mirepoix – carrots, celery, onions. And it’s kicked up a notch with my mashed up roasted garlic. Cooking these 4 base ingredients together really creates a flavor that stands out in the soup. Not overwhelmingly stands out, just enough to know it’s there.
After the veggies are cooked, you add the broth, the fire roasted tomatoes, the seasonings, and the orzo and let those guys just soak up all that goodness. A few handfuls on chopped baby spinach go in just before serving and a good stir brings everything together.
This orzo tomato spinach soup isn’t anything fancy, but let me assure you that the roasted garlic takes a basic soup recipe and really turns it into a delicious soup that’s perfect to serve to guests as well as eat in your jammie jams on the couch. It’s also vegetarian (although some shredded chicken can fix that issue for you), it’s healthier then all those cream based soups. It’s got tons of iron, fiber, and some protein from the spinach. You can also use whole wheat orzo to make this recipe even healthier.
This soup is the reboot button for me. It powers me up and makes me feel better.
Off I go now – what will I spill next?
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1//2 cups chopped onions
- 1 1/4 cup carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 1 cup celery
- 6 cloves of roasted garlic (see notes)
- 6 1/2 cups of vegetable stock (or chicken)
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pesto
- 1 1/2 cups orzo (whole wheat or regular)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 3 cups baby spinach, packed
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté them for 4-5 minutes until they get soft. Add the carrots, celery, and roasted garlic and continue to sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Add the stock, along with the tomatoes, pesto, orzo, thyme, Italian seasoning, and oregano, stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and let the orzo pasta cook to al-dente, about 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
- Just before serving, add the baby spinach and continue to cook for 1 minutes or until the spinach gets nice and bright green and wilts down. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
- Roasted garlic can be found in jars in the International food aisle in most grocery stores. You can also substitute fresh garlic for this recipe.
- To roast your own garlic: Heat an oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Peel off most of the paper from the garlic, leaving the head intact with the cloves attached. Trim the top off the head of garlic by 1/4 inch. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the exposed surface, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and bake for 40 minutes. Check the garlic, it is done when the center clove is completely soft with pierced with a paring knife. Continue roasting for an additional 5 -10 minutes to help deepen the golden color and caramelize further. Exact roasting time may vary due to size. Garlic can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks and frozen for up to 3 months.
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