This Italian Orzo Spinach Soup is simple to make, full of classic Italian flavors, and oh-so-comforting.
This past Sunday, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The Let’s-Be-Unusually-Hard-On-Yourself-About-Everything-Today side of the bed.
First of all, I woke up to the sound of my oven timer beeping loudly at me at 6:30am because Forgetful Here accidentally left my phone (a.k.a. the only “alarm clock” I own) at book club the night before. Lovely. Then I hopped in my car to head to church for early band practice, and got completely annoyed after something crashed in the trunk that I still hadn’t cleaned out the clutter in my car for a few weeks. Then, despite getting to play with the most encouraging and awesome group of guys in our band, I started getting super down about my singing and felt like my voice wasn’t strong enough or versatile enough or simply good enough. And then during church, my mind began to wander into the spiral of project deadlines looming and laundry piled up and friends who I hadn’t seen in awhile and a mega load of dishes waiting in the sink and books I couldn’t find time to read and on and on, and before I knew it, it was like — POOF!
Confidence = squelched.
Amazing how quickly those spirals can happen sometime, right??
Gah. Usually I catch (and zap!) them a little faster. But sometimes, they just getcha. And they can bring you down before you really even notice, as self-doubts always love to do.
BUT. I’ve learned over the years that life is way too short to let part of a bad self-confidence day overshadow the whole day. Heck no. If you want to reset your day, you can totally make the decision to do so at 3:28pm on a Monday afternoon at work. Or at 11:05pm on a Thursday night at home. Or at noon on a Sunday at church, like me.
So yeah! After I took a second to regroup and remind myself that I was, in fact, not defined by being forgetful, or lazy, or by my voice (which I know is just fine), or by checking off things on my to-do list, I decided to take the afternoon to reset my little brain and remind myself of who I am and what I love. So I cranked up the radio and sang at the top of my lungs all the way home. Then I called up a few friends and invited them over. And then I gathered together some super simple ingredients, flipped on a movie, made a huge glass of iced tea, and got busy doing what always seems to make me happy — cook. :)
Yep, even on a 100 degree day in the middle of August, soup sounded like comfort food.
So soup it was!
I had been actually been wanting to make soup that week with the bag of orzo that I had on hand. Actually, make that bags. When I found that DeLallo makes a whole wheat orzo pasta — my favorite pasta to toss into soups — I was stoked and may have stockpiled a bit. But one can never have too much orzo, right?
Anyway, there was still this 100 degree situation happening, so I didn’t want to have to stand over a hot pot of soup for too long. Thus, I decided to make a simple spinach and vegetable soup that calls for very little prep time. Just simmer the mirepoix, add in the broth and tomatoes and seasonings and orzo and let them simmer until the pasta is cooked. And then stir in some fresh spinach at the end just before serving.
It’s nothing fancy, but let me assure you — it’s delicious, it’s vegetarian (although you can add chicken or sausage if you’d like), it’s healthier with all of those veggies and whole wheat pasta, and oh man, it hit the spot.
The perfect meal to restart the day, and appreciate more of the good and delicious things in life.
YIELD: 4-6 SERVINGS
ITALIAN ORZO SPINACH SOUP
This delicious Italian Orzo Spinach Soup is simple, flavorful, and so comforting.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) DeLallo whole wheat orzo pasta, or other whole wheat pasta
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 4 cups loosely-packed spinach
- salt and black pepper
- Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes, until soft. Add carrots, celery and garlic and saute for an additional 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, orzo (pasta), thyme, oregano, rosemary and stir to combine. Bring soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente.
- Stir in the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is bright green and wilted. Season with salt and black pepper to taste (if needed). Serve warm.