Tonight for dinner I decided to try a variation of a recipe I saw on 101 cookbooks by Heidi Swanson . Her recipe is not vegan, so I ommited and added some ingreadiants to make it my own. I do have to say, I was delighted with the results!
7 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup tri colored orzo
1 3/4 cups finely chopped spinach
14oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (drained)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
7 green onions chopped (green and white parts)
sea salt to taste
3 tablespoons chopped vegan Mozzerella Cheese (Follow Your Heart)
Optional: 1 sliced carrot, 1/4 cup diced turnip, 2 stalks celery chopped, 1/2 chopped white onion
Pour you vegetable broth in a stockpot, and if you choose to add the optional vegetables, throw them in now. Bring to a boil. Make sure to skim the top of the soup if any foam or fat rises to the top. While you are waiting for your vegetable broth to boil, grab a separate pot, boil water, and pour in your orzo until just done. This should take around 10 minutes. I am not a fan of cooking pasta in the broth you will be eating because it makes it a bit starchy. While you are waiting for the broth and orzo to boil, go ahead and pour the fire roasted tomatoes, with about a tablespoon of good olive oil in a small skillet or saucepan, add the red pepper flakes, and set to medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes and set heat to warm. Pour the spinach and scallions in the vegetable broth once it starts boiling. Once the orzo is finished, drain and add the pasta to the broth. Cook for about 3 more minutes to make sure all of the flavors are blended together. Once the soup is finished, ladle into a bowl, spoon a generous portion of the tomato mixture into the soup, sprinkle some olive oil, throw in a pinch of the mozzarella, and add some salt if needed. You're done! YUM!
Delights and After Thoughts:
This recipe is great for improvising which gives you the option to use any leftovers that you may have in your refrigerator, freezer, or pantry. A few weeks ago I made a vegetable barley soup, and used a stock recipe that I found on the Post Punk Kitchen website. I'll have to write about that one sometime too. I had about 3 cups of that frozen, so I used that along with Imagine Organic Vegetable Broth for my broth base. The broth that I had frozen already had vegetables in it (carrots, turnips, onions, and celery), which is why I listed those as optional. Feel free to add a small amount of your favorite vegetables to this soup. I originally wanted to use whole wheat orzo, but I couldn't find that anywhere. But, I did find this tri-colored orzo by Rice Select, and I am glad I did because I think it made a great addition to this soup. I just want to note that you can order whole wheat orzo off of the rice select website in bulk or off of amazon in normal size portions. The fire roasted tomatoes with the red pepper flakes do make the soup pretty spicy, so if you do not like spicy feel free to use any other type of canned tomato (chopped or crushed would work just fine as well) and omit the red pepper flakes. Salt is all about preference. I did add a pinch of salt to taste, but I am not a fan of adding a lot of salt or any if I don't have to. I prefer to taste and enjoy food for its original flavor. But, let's face it, sometimes we need a little salt to bring out the flavor, but not so much that it takes over the dish.
After I was finished, I decided to just throw the tomato mixture into the broth, and poured the soup into soup bowl sized Tupperware (thanks to all the orders of soup from Chinese and Thai restaurants), and freeze. Soup is one of my favorite foods, and this has made it in the top rankings! Make sure to eat slow and really take in the flavor and scent of this soup. If you enjoy it spicy, this soup will be sure to help clear your sinuses and congestion. This soup is great for any occasion, and I hope you enjoy!