Friday, November 5, 2010

Spinach, Tomato, and Orzo Soup

Brrrr....It has gotten chilly out there.  This is the time of year when we start craving foods well-suited to cold weather and often that means heavy and less healthy foods.  Here is an alternative to all the hefty, starchy stuff that sounds good right now. It's a light, yet hearty and filling soup that is much tastier and more exciting than classic vegetable soup.  It's really easy, too!  Give it a try this weekend!  I LOVE the bright flavors of lemon and dill simmered in soup form.

Dilled Spinach, Tomato, and Orzo Soup

If you aren't into adding pasta for health reasons, feel free to substitute the orzo for a can of navy beans, drained and rinsed.  Similar essence, equally good!

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 plum tomatoes, diced
2 t sea salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t dried oregano
¼ t ground nutmeg
1 medium potato, peeled and diced

8-10 cups water or broth
3 T tomato paste
1 clamshell baby spinach
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta (preferably whole wheat)
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup chopped dill

2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt to taste

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook 3 minutes, until translucent.  Add garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, nutmeg, and potato.

Stir together and cook, uncovered for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently, so it doesn’t stick too much or get brown. 

Add water or broth and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low.  Simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes. 

Add spinach, orzo, scallions, and dill and stir.  Cover and turn heat to very low.  Cook for 10 minutes or until orzo is soft and spinach is wilted. 

Taste for salt and pepper and season accordingly.  Finish soup by stirring in fresh lemon juice.

Garnish with some Greek yogurt and chopped dill, if you like.

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