Here’s a lively spinach soup that comes together quickly, with leeks, greens, and tiny orzo pasta in a lemony broth. It’s a lovely soup for everyday meals as well as holiday celebrations such as Easter dinner. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
Serves: 6 to 8
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped, well-washed leeks
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
- 4 cups prepared or homemade vegetable stock
(or 4 cups water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes)
- One 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 5 to 6 ounces fresh spinach, washed, stemmed, and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or dill, or a combination, or more to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the leek and sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper and garlic and sauté the vegetables for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until the leek turns golden and the pepper softens.
Add the stock. Drain the liquid from the canned tomatoes into to the soup pot, then chop the tomatoes finely before adding to the soup. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the orzo in a separate saucepan until al dente, then drain. Add the cooked orzo to the soup along with the spinach and herbs.
Stir in the lemon juice, then add one to two cups water, enough to give the soup a dense but not overly crowded consistency of the soup.
Season with salt and pepper, then simmer over very low heat until well heated through, then serve.
Variation: Skip the orzo and add 2 cups cooked rice toward the end of cooking time.
Per serving: Calories: 136; Total fat: 4g; Protein: 4g; Fiber: 2g; Carbs: 21g; Sodium: 203mg