Makes 6 cups - 4 to 6 servings

Serve this light and lively, lemony soup as a first course for dinner or with warm, crusty bread for lunch. Orzo is a tiny, rice-shaped pasta; riso, a similar shape, can be substituted.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup coarsely chopped onion

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

5 cups vegetable stock

One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice

6 cups stemmed and coarsely shredded fresh spinach leaves

¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ cup orzo or riso

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic; continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the onion is golden and the bell pepper softens, about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and tomatoes with juice. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in the spinach, parsley, and orzo. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and the orzo is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste.