I have this strange superpower. I'm really good at making things that I can't (or don't) eat. Cheesecake for example. That's my shit. I can "put my foot" (southern expression meaning something is remarkably cooked) in some cheesecake. Just ask my family and friends. I can also make a killer soup, although I'm not a big fan of it. It needs to be a really cold, rainy day in order for me to crave soup, which is rare here in Southern California. My husband, on the other hand, could eat soup every day. Any kind, any day, any time, doesn't matter...
Last weekend, we had our Annual Christmas Cookie Bake. Here's a photo of some of the delicious cookies we baked this year.
While I normally share a cookie recipe from the cookie bake, I decided to do something different this time...
We have this tradition every year where I make a new soup for us to eat for lunch. Over the years I have made some really great soup and I never make the same kind twice. My White Bean Chicken Chili/Soup has become "legendary". Everyone I have given the recipe to loves it and I still get requests for that recipe. As a matter of fact, Yvonne just called me this morning asking me to resend it to her because she has a cold and wanted to make it. It's definitely a "feel good" type of soup. I'll have to share that recipe one of these days.
For this year's cookie bake, I made Italian Sausage, Orzo and Spinach Soup.
|In these photos, I didn't have the Italian Sausage, so I used smoked turkey sausage links|
The girls really enjoyed it (Teresa even made it for her family a few days later!) so I promised I would share the recipe on the blog. I'm almost embarrassed at how easy it is to make, but hey, there are days when easy isn't a bad thing, right?
So here's my recipe for super easy, super simple, super delicious Italian Sausage, Orzo and Spinach Soup. I hope you enjoy it!
Italian Sausage, Orzo and Spinach Soup
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3-4 links Turkey Italian Sausage (casing removed)
** Feel free to sub any sausage you like
1 small onion, diced
4 carrots, diced large
2 -3 stalks of celery, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 14oz can fire roasted tomatoes
7 cups of chicken stock
1 1/4 cup dried Orzo pasta
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste
1 bag of baby spinach
1/4 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
Heat 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until browned and no longer pink, breaking up into chunks with a wooden spoon as you cook it. Remove sausage to a bowl and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 20-30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, pasta and seasonings. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan to ensure the pasta doesn't stick. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes (you may need to stir occasionally during this process) to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom.
After 10 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings then add the spinach, the chopped fresh rosemary and the cooked sausage. Cook stirring just until spinach is just wilted (approx. 1 minute).
Enjoy immediately while still hot.
Store leftovers refrigerated in an air-tight container.
Note: Over time, the orzo, as with any pasta, will absorb a lot of the liquid. When reheating, you may need to add additional chicken broth to reach desired "soup" consistency.
To make ahead: Cook pasta separately and add to the broth when reheating the soup just before serving.