Filling and flavorful, this Italian vegetable soup becomes a meal in itself when served with a robust, whole-grain bread and a green salad. It keeps well and develops flavor as it stands.
Serves: 8 or more
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 medium celery stalks, diced
- 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch lengths
(use frozen if good fresh green beans are unavailable)
- 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup dry red wine, optional
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon each: dried basil and oregano
- ⅔ cup orzo or rosa marina (rice-shaped pasta)
- 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until golden. Add the carrots, celery, and just enough water to cover. Bring to a gentle boil.
Add the green beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, optional wine, bay leaves, basil, and oregano. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer very gently until the vegetables tender but not overdone, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the orzo in a separate saucepan according to package directions until al dente, then drain.
Stir the cooked orzo, chickpeas, and parsley into the soup. Adjust the consistency with more water if necessary, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer over very low heat for 5 minutes longer, then serve.
- Explore other recipes for hearty winter soups.