Foodie Friday: Italian Style Orzo Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe) #WinterComfortFood

Friday, 22 November 2019

Italian Style Orzo Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe) #WinterComfortFood
Comforting, filling, hearty bowls of food are everything to me right now, and I could honestly eat this Italian Style Orzo Soup for lunch every day until next March! It's also a great way to get some extra veggies into your diet if you find that you struggle to hit your five a day during the winter months.

Last month, I picked up a large packet of Orzo for a reduced price (I'm forever the yellow sticker bargain hunter!), and having never actually heard of it before, I decided to have a quick scour online for ways to use it. 

Orzo is an Italian pasta which is also known as risoni and it basically looks like small grains of rice which lend themselves very well to being thrown into soups, salads and casseroles. This instantly adds bulk and substance to any meal and with my penchant for hearty comfort food, it made sense for me to experiment with an Italian Style Orzo Soup recipe

After some tweaks here and there, I've finally perfected it into something which can be easily made on a Sunday evening and then heated up for speedy lunches throughout the week. And did you know that if you cool and then reheat carbohydrates such as pasta, you actually reduce those initial spikes in your blood glucose levels? Healthy and comforting - my favourite food combo!

Italian Style Orzo Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe) #WinterComfortFood
Ingredients (makes around four servings)
  • 200g Orzo
  • 400g tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 800ml Vegetable Stock
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, peeled & crushed
  • 1 small White Onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 stalks of Celery, finely sliced
  • 1 Red Chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 Courgette, chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper, finely diced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Italian Mixed Herbs
  • Drizzle of Olive Oil, for frying
  • Salt & Pepper, to season

Method
  • Add a drizzle of Olive Oil to a large and deep saucepan over a medium heat. Add the Onion, Garlic and Celery and cook for about 4-5 minutes to gently soften.
  • Next, add in the chopped Red Pepper, Courgette and Red Chilli, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Finally, add all of the remaining ingredients - the Orzo, Chopped Tomatoes, Vegetable Stock, Bay Leaves and Italian Mixed Herbs. Continue to cook for a further 10 minutes, until the Orzo is al dente (or cook for a few minutes longer if you prefer your pasta softer), making sure to stir occasionally.
  • Ladle into serving bowls and season with Salt & Pepper if desired - enjoy!

Storage tip: Once cooled, keep any remaining servings of the soup in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 2-3 days, making sure to thoroughly reheat it before serving. Unfortunately, cooked pasta turns mushy when it is frozen, but you could freeze the soup without the orzo and then cook a fresh batch of orzo to accompany it at a later date.


Italian Style Orzo Soup (Vegan / Dairy-Free recipe) #WinterComfortFood
Have you tried Orzo before?

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