Orzo Soup

Orzo Soup Recipe

This soup is known by a few names around here - lil' noodle soup, aspirational noodle soup, and too-lazy-to-wait-for -a-pot-of-rice-to-cook noodle soup. It's made with orzo, a good broth, and whatever I can rummage from my pantry. For those of you unfamiliar with orzo, it is pasta shaped like a chubby grain of rice. It even comes in a whole wheat version, which is what I use. Orzo plays the lead role in this simple soup made with the petite pasta swimming in an egg drop soup style broth that has been boosted with flecks of chard and topped with vibrant, fire-roasted tomatoes. It's finished with an all-important thread of golden olive oil and a flurry of grated cheese. All in all a quick and vibrant bowl of not-too-heavy sustenance.

A couple tips - use a great broth, with just a few ingredients in this recipe, it's key. Before serving be sure to adjust your salt, if the soup tastes flat, add more a pinch or two at a time until all the flavors pop. Vegans, or those not too keen on eggs, no worries - skip them altogether. It's just as good. Different, but still good.

Orzo Soup Recipe

For some added flavor, or to take this soup in another direction, toss the tomatoes with somewhere between a teaspoon + of adobo sauce (from can of chipotles)....more or less depending on how spicy you like your food.

7 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups whole wheat orzo (or other small pasta i.e. pastina)
2 cups chard or spinach, chopped
1 14-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, well drained
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
good quality extra virgin olive oil
3 egg whites
fine grain sea salt

some grated Parmesan cheese (to finish)

Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the orzo and cook until just tender - about ten minutes. Stir in the chopped spinach.

In the meantime, heat the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and a splash of extra virgin olive oil in a separate saucepan. Taste, and salt a bit if needed.

Just before serving, Slowly pour the egg whites into the soup, stirring quickly with a whisk. The whites should take on a raggy appearance. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve the soup in individual bowls, with each serving topped with a generous spoonful of tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, and dusting of cheese.

Makes 4-6 servings.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • Recipe sounds great but, a flurry of what kind of cheese? I am great at following recipes but not so great at creating ingredients to compliment others (unless it is garlic and grated Italian cheeses). What do you recommend?

    Royce
  • This sounds really good! Personally, I don't like spinach, but it still sounds good.

    Krista on the Hill
  • Very nice. This looks like a good option to keep on hand for those lazy summer nights when I feel more like walking in the park than minding a pot in the kitchen... Thanks!

    missginsu
  • Ok, I just saw this and then went and made it immediately. How did you know I was in need of a healthy and light lunch? Amazing. I used frozen spinach and israeli couscous (it was what I had) and it turned out GREAT!

    Amy
  • This looks delicious! I love orzo soup and I LOVE fire-roasted tomatoes.

    bitchincamero
  • I don't know if this is a stupid question, but I'm wondering if whole eggs can be used instead of whites. I hate wasting the yolks and if I separate them, I'll only end up cooking them and eating them myself so that I don't throw them away and that's not so great either. I've never made an egg drop type soup so I'm not really sure what works and what doesn't.

    Anita
  • 'too-lazy-to-wait-for -a-pot-of-rice-to-cook noodle soup' :) this looks fabulous!

    nicole
  • I haven't seen the whole wheat orzo here, but that's something I'd definitely like to try. Great looking soup.

    Kalyn
  • Gorgeous. And I love that the soup has the colors of the Italian flag, too.

    Cheryl
  • I've had a box of orzo that I've been waiting to use on just the right recipe. This may be it!

    Abby
  • Sounds wonderful. Is there a way that you could put the pics of the recipes on the "print recipe" page?

    Judy
  • Oooh, LOVE that "lil noodle soup" - so comforting!

    VeggieGirl
  • Also a UK question... do you think baby tomatoes roasted in the oven for 20 mins could take the place of the 'fire roasted tomatoes'? The only ready ingredient we've got like this would be sun-blush toms from the deli counter and I never like them as much as I think I'm going to!

    Jodycat UK
  • I like this take on Orzo soup; eggs, but no lemon. GlamSpiritKristen, forget store bought vegetable broth; homemade is dramatically better and very easy to make.

    bourgeoisbee
  • Fantastic that this soup pretty much all store cupboard ingredients. I'll have to look out for whole wheat orzo - I can imagine that would become a bit staple in our house for lunches! Canned fire-roasted tomatoes are a new one on me but they sound delicious. Would love to know if anybody has seen something similar in the UK (maybe under a different name?)

    Sophie
  • One of my favorite ways to prepare orzo is to toast it in a bit of olive oil first, then adding some kind of tomato paste or fire-roasted tomatoes, then finishing it in broth. Seems to bring out a nice nutty flavor. I'll definitely try it this way though - sounds tasty!

    RB
  • This soup comes just in the nick of time! My CSA is giving me lots of fabulous spinach and I'm starting to hit a road block when using it. This soup will be just the ticket on cool summer evenings.

    Kim
  • Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. I should know better, not to look at these recipes when I'm hungry at work!

    Rachel-machel
  • Yum! What a great example of the idea that when you use high quality ingredients, the result is nearly always good. I find I'm getting much better at cooking without recipes by adhering to this simple idea... On a different note, my *favorite* soup with orzo though is Avgolemono (greek egg & lemon) with orzo -- typically it's made with whipped eggs, a whole log of lemon juice, black pepper, and chicken broth, but I've had success with a rich vegetable stock as well. I usually use 'Better than Bouillon' soup base in recipes calling for stock -- it's rich and not too salty.

    Jen (Modern Beet)
  • Sounds spectacular! I saw some orzo at the grocery store yesterday but didn't have an idea in mind. This is perfect! Do you have a broth that you recommend?

    GlamSpiritKristen
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