…Perhaps it’s because I grew up where it gets REALLY cold in the winters… but I remember how my mom would ALWAYS make sure that I had my bowl of soup every day! Yes, this was her mantra: “A bowl of SOUP a day keeps the doctor away”! And to think about it… what could be possibly as filling, but low in calories, healthy, soothing and warming as a hot bowl of soup?
And who could possibly offer a better healthy soup recipe than my friend from Bowl Me Over, the SOUPER CHEF Debra, who can rightfully be considered the Soup-Making Pro!
Today Debra kindly agreed to Guest Post for Beautiful Healthy Sweet and I am so very excited to share her amazing Healthy Vegetable Orzo Soup recipe with you! Welcome, Debra!
Vegetable Orzo Soup from Bowl Me Over
Thank you Liza for the opportunity to share a recipe with you & your readers. I am so excited to be blog swapping today! To back up a bit, my name is Deb and I blog at Bowl Me Over. Because I love soups & stews so much, I decided that a soup is definitely what I wanted to share with you today.
And of course not just any old soup…..One that is delicious, healthy and easy too! My Vegetable Orzo Soup checks off all those boxes on the list! Especially when you start with bright fresh vegetables like spinach, celery, carrots & onions.
Check out this picture – it isn’t enhanced in the least! These carrots really were this bright and vibrant. I’m a big fan of the farmers market and our produce here in Fresno is unbelievably fresh and delicious.
You’ll start by dicing the vegetable, onions, carrots & celery. I try and dice them uniformly so they cook in equal time and also so they fit easily onto a spoon. Then into the pot they go with just a bit of olive oil. Next you’ll add the spices and sauté the vegetables until everything just begins to soften – about 5 minutes or so. Then add the spinach, orzo, tomatoes, stock & water. Increase the heat and bring it to a boil, stirring often. The orzo only takes about 9 minutes (cook according to package directions). Once it comes to a boil, give it a really good stir and then reduce to medium heat.
You will want to stir often for a couple of reasons – the orzo will want to stick to the bottom, but also stirring the orzo will help release the starch in the pasta and help to thicken the broth.And what it becomes, is a beautiful delicious pot of soup! Because it cooks so quickly the vegetables still have a bit of a crunch – that gives it beautiful texture. Finishing the soup with a squeeze of lemon and bit of parsley keeps the flavors bright and fresh.And that quickly your beautiful soup and meal is together! You are ready for dinner tonight! It takes about as long to chop the vegetables as is does to cook the meal!
Who is ready for soup tonight? 🙂 D
Healthy Vegetable Orzo Soup
- 3 carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 yellow onion
- 8 cups spinach
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 cups water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp parsley, minced optional
Dice the carrots, celery & onion. Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. When it is good & hot, add the olive oil. Then add the carrots, celery & onion. In addition add the spices - Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add in the garlic & sauté for about another minute, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Run your knife thru the spinach a couple times, chopping it into bite sized pieces. Add it to the soup pot. Next add the pasta and give everything a good stir. Poor in the tomatoes, stock and water. Increase the heat to high and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium - you'll still want to keep it a light bubble and cook until the orzo is cooked thru - about 8-9 minutes. Continue stirring the soup often. As mentioned earlier, the orzo will want to stick to the bottom of the pan. In addition, stirring it will release the starches in the pasta and help to thicken the soup.
When the orzo is cooked, remove the soup from the heat. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and about a tablespoon of chopped parsley for bright fresh flavor.
So tell me, what is your favorite soup?
Do you eat soup year-round (we do!) or only in the winter and fall?
I hope you enjoy this meal because soup is good food! 🙂 D
Debra Clark blogs at Bowl Me Over and resides in Fresno California. She’s a serious foodie and has been known as the go-to girl for years, catering weddings and anniversary parties and in the summer helps cook mountains of food for family reunions. Often times things created end up in a bowl, hence the name Bowl Me Over! You can connect with her blog at Bowl Me Over and follow her here on social media Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.