Greek Spinach And Orzo Soup
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.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.