Food Challenge Recipe 39: Italian Orzo Spinach Soup

I’m back! We’re back from America, so this week’s recipe doesn’t come from there, like my last three have. This one is actually Italian, and though the title states it’s a soup, it’s more of a stew in my opinion.

I made this as a warming lunch option to take to work. It serves 6 people and is fairly simple to make. It’s very filling, but that could just be the way I portioned it out!

I also made a fairly big mistake whilst making this, but it all ended up okay in the end….

You start with adding a little oil into a large stock-pot and adding 1 small white onion (diced) and fry for about 4 minutes. Add 1 cup of diced carrots, 1 cup of diced celery and 2 cloves of minced garlic. The recipe called for 3 cloves but I didn’t want that much. Saute this for an additional 3 minutes. This was where I made my mistake, and just forgot to put the carrots and celery in. I know, I know – weird but I did it.


So that’s the onion and garlic, minus the carrot and celery.

Next I added 1.5 litres of vegetable stock, 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 227g of orzo pasta, 1/2 tsp of dried thyme, 1/4 tsp of oregano and 1/4 tsp of dried rosemary and stir to combine.


I brought this to a simmer, and turned around in the kitchen. There behind me on the kitchen island was a lovely bowl of diced carrots and celery. DOH!

So I plonked them all into the pot too, and hoped for the best!


This was brought to a simmer, then the heat reduced to medium-low and simmered for 10 minutes (or until the pasta is al dente), stirring occasionally.

Then I added 4 cups of spinach leaves.


Stirred all together, I then tasted the pot and added 1.5 tsp of sugar, salt and pepper.

This was cooked for 2 minutes and it was ready!


At this point it looks like there’s a lot of liquid, but there’s so much veg and pasta in there that I felt like it was more of a stew type consistency.


I don’t think the soup suffered from the mistake I made. The veg was cooked through enough, but who knows, that could have contributed to a lack of moisture in the soup.


This soup was really flavourful. It filled me up on each occasion I ate it, and I felt like I was getting a good healthy balance of vitamins and minerals from the rainbow of ingredients I was eating.

The verdict:

This was a really nice soup, and it will make a lovely addition to my home cooked work lunch ideas. I’ll most likely make this again, down the line, and I can see it being really nice and warming in winter and spring.

I give this recipe 7.5/10