Orzo Soup Recipe

Itty-bitty pasta plays the lead role in this simple orzo soup recipe with 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.

Orzo Soup

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.

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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

I made this tonight, substituting escarole for the spinach, and added a can of chickpeas. It was unbelievably rich and satisfying....and SO easy. This is going to be my new favorite soup for sure.

Jillian

Swooon. That looks lovely!

Jo

This sounds perfect for my rainy day here in Salt Lake.

Outstanding! Tried this last night and I was blown away. So simple, yet so tasty. And I couldn't even find the fire-roasted tomatoes either so I substituted stewed tomatoes, chopped up real good, with lots of red pepper flakes and a splash of olive oil. The Parmesan topping made for a nice finish. Glad I found your blog, Heidi! Thanks for sharing. Bob

thehappycooker

Whole wheat orzo is availabe at Rainbow Grocery in SF. It is in one of the small aisle bins near the bags of farro. I made this tonight with a bunch of chard that was nearing the compost bin. Wasn't keen on it before I added a big heap of parmesan and, then, wow, it was yummy.

caliston

Sounds good. Coincidentally enough I just bought a bag of orzo thinking it would be easy for my little guy to eat and was planning on trying some home-made soups for him.

Heidi, this looks lovely. Regarding too-lazy-to-wait-for -a-pot-of-rice-to-cook recipe : have you ever tried 'beaten rice' (called 'poha' in some Indian languages) ? All it needs is a soak in water for two or so minutes (maybe less). If you ever use your creativity to do something wonderful with it I'll be excited to know. I have linked to one of the traditional uses of it.

Heidi, this looks lovely. Regarding too-lazy-to-wait-for -a-pot-of-rice-to-cook recipe : have you ever tried 'beaten rice' (called 'poha' in some Indian languages) ? All it needs is a soak in water for two or so minutes (maybe less). If you ever use your creativity to do something wonderful with it I'll be excited to know. I have linked to one of the traditional uses of it.

This was great! Thanks for the inspiration and the recipe. I too run out of ideas with big bags of spinach from our farm delivery. I also added fresh green beans. My toddler loved it, sans the chipotle... and my husband and I loved it with! And... this is goofy, but I'd never added tomatoes, without all the juice and love the effect of draining them, rinsing them and having the fleck and garnish the soup rather than overpower.

That little bit of olive oil really makes it for me :)

Heidi, where do you find your whole wheat orzo? Even my Whole Foods doesn't carry it. Is there a good online source that you use?

Colleen

I made this last night, but made a few changes... I cooked a pound of ground Italian turkey meat and added it to the soup. My hubby needs meat:) It extended the recipe & the fire-roasted tomatoes were great!! I also thinned the soup a tad with H20 because it was just a tad thick... Thanks, Heidi!

Ashley Olsen

wow, that looks really tasty!

Anonymous

Hi! looks great (like all your recipes!), but i do have a question... You mean orzo like barley (that is the translation of it from italian), or the small pasta shaped like barley or rice, that is actually neither, just regular pasta with that shape...? Thanks! and thank you also for the great meal ideas I get from your website!! HS: Hi Barbara -Here in the U.S. they label the small pasta as orzo. That's what I used here in this recipe.

Barbara

Hi Heidi, This looks fabulous as always but I really don't care for orzo or any other small pasta. Do you think this would work with barley or farro? Thanks, Sophie HS: HI Sophie, the short answer is absolutely. I would pre cook the barley or farro on its own and then add it to the broth.

SophieL

It sounds very good. I just have some orzo there. I really like the coupling with roasted tomatoes, it sounds really tasty. I'll definitely try it! Ciao

oh my, I love orzo, but I usually only make pilaf with it.This soup looks really good.

I second the comment about puting the pic on the "print page", or having 2 options -- "Print Recipe" or "Print Recipe with Photo" . When I print out the recipes with just text, it doesn't do you justice!

Dani

I used to use whole wheat orzo for me (& my cats love it too!), but Whole Foods no longer carries it and I have been having trouble finding it now. Any suggestions? =^.^=

justcat

This looks like a nice and light soup that I would enjoy and I might have some orzo hanging out in the pantry. I made the "heavenly" pie over the weekend and it came out awesome. i had everyone guessing at the picnic what the mystery ingredient was.

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