Winter Vegetable Orzo Soup
This soup is deliciously different and blends together a number of flavors. Along with the cabbage, carrots, onion and tomatoes, we are using orzo, a tasty rice-shaped pasta grain. If you want, you can use rice instead or even small macaroni shapes, as you prefer. You could even omit the grain for a lower calorie result. This is a healthy, colorful and delicious soup to warm you up.
Orzo is a type of pasta. The grains are shaped like rice. It can be used in soup or stew recipes, served by itself by a side dish, enjoyed as part of a salad or baked in Italian casserole recipes. Since orzo is so versatile and goes with all kinds of Italian recipes, it is worth keeping a package of it handy, so you can add a handful to soup when you are cooking it. Orzo offers the flavor of pasta but the texture and size of rice, so you get the best of both worlds. If you like, you can use some rice and some orzo together.
A few black olive slices can be added to this soup if you have them, and you can choose which spices to put in there. A combination of onion powder, garlic powder, Hungarian paprika and chili powder are all great in this soup, but as for the quantities you will need to add them using your own judgment. The onion and garlic flavors should be delicate, the paprika should offer a smoky, spicy touch, and the amount of chili powder you add really just depends how spicy you want the soup to be. Add a little at a time because it is easier to add more spices than to fix the soup if you accidentally add too much! Serve this just as it is or pair it with some slices of bread to make the dish heartier.
- 3 lbs shredded cabbage
- 3 shredded carrots
- 2 chopped yellow onions
- 30 oz canned chopped tomatoes
- Water, as needed
- 2 tablespoons salt, or to taste
- A few sliced black olives (optional)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Hungarian paprika
- Chili powder
- Put the carrots, cabbage, onion, tomatoes and salt in a large pot.
- Pour in water to cover the ingredients by an inch.
- Bring to a boil.
- Simmer the soup for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the orzo, and onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and/or chili powder to taste.
- Add some black olive slices too at this point if you like.
- Stir well, then simmer for 10 minutes or until the orzo is tender.
- Drizzle in the olive oil, stir again and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
- Serve hot.
This unusual recipe brings together several European cuisines and you will find the flavors really complement one another. It has orzo, an Italian grain which is often added to soups and casseroles or lightly fried to resemble risotto, along with Hungarian paprika and plenty of cabbage, another Eastern European ingredient. The black olives are optional, but they would add a salty flavor to the otherwise sweet, slightly spicy soup. This is best served piping hot, with some bread on the side. You can swap the orzo for white rice if you wish, or macaroni, or even omit it.
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