Pepper Soup with Orzo

Soup – the only way to survive this cold weather that’s approaching. I don’t like winter at all, or being cold. But there are things I do take comfort in during the winter months; knitting, cuddling, fuzzy blankets, Christmas, tea and soup 🙂

I especially like this soup, the orzo makes it very hearty and has a great flavour to it because of all the peppers and red onion.

Here is what I used to make the soup! Now, I did not need that many peppers, I only needed a little less than three [one red, orange and yellow]. But peppers were on sale for 97¢/lb so I mean, what would anyone else do? [The rest made some delicious stuffed peppers later in the week].

First off, you’ll want to dice about 2 cups of peppers [I’m generous with my 2 cups], and all of the red onion to be about the same size.

Next, in your large soup pot [or the biggest saucepot you own], heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat and add the diced onions and minced garlic.

Once they become soft [no more than 1 or 2 minutes] add the beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and cook until no longer pink.

Next add the 2 cups of diced peppers and cook for an additional 2-5 minutes.

Pour in the can of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beef broth. Stir to combine. Next add the parsley, basil, and oregano. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer while stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.

**NOTE** Now you can also make this recipe with ground turkey! I have before and I substituted the beef broth for chicken broth. That time I also didn’t have red onion so I diced 1 and 1/2 yellow onions and it was still AMAZING. 🙂

Ground turkey is leaner and cheaper, [at least where we are] so I like to substitute often – but never with tacos – mmm tacos.

In the last 10 minutes, prepare 1 cup of orzo, following the directions on the box [it will double in size and will do for 4 servings]. Once cooked, drain, rinse and drizzle with olive oil to avoid sticking.

Once soup has finished cooking, turn off heat and add 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and combine well. Now it is ready to serve. 🙂

Add a spoonful or so of orzo to your bowl before serving your soup on top. Mix it in, top with your choice of cheese and ENJOY!

**MORE NOTES** When making any kind of soup, I like to cook my orzo, rice, pasta, etc., [whatever you want to add] separately and add only to the bowl I’m serving. That way
a) I can change my mind with leftovers and;
b) it avoids the soup leftovers getting “mushy”, which is especially true when adding rice to anything “liquidy”.


RECIPE

Pepper Soup with Orzo

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: About 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced [or 1 ½ diced yellow onions]
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey/chicken
  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 generous cups of diced red, yellow and orange pepper [just under one each]
  • 1 796 mL can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 680 mL can of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of beef broth/chicken broth if using turkey or chicken
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar [to add at the end after cooking]
  • 1 cup of uncooked orzo [4 servings – 1½ to 2 cups uncooked orzo for 6 servings]
  • Optional: Grated parmesan or shredded mozzarella cheese to top

Directions

  1. In a large pot heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat with 1 diced red onion and 2-3 cloves of minced garlic.
  2. Once soft (1-2 minutes) add beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, cook until no longer pink
  3. Add 2 cups of diced peppers, cook for an additional 2-5 minutes.
  4. Pour in can of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beef broth, stir.
  5. Add parsley, basil, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
  6. In the last 10 minutes, prepare 1 cup of orzo [will double in size and will do for 4 servings]. To prepare orzo, follow directions; boil water, cook for 6 minutes, drain and rinse. If finished before the soup, drizzle with olive oil to avoid sticking.
  7. Once soup has finished cooking, turn off heat and add 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and stir. Now it is ready to serve.
  8. Add a spoonful or so of orzo to your bowl before serving your soup on top. Mix, top with shredded cheese or grated parmesan and serve.

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