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Italian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup – yum!
Now that it’s Fall, it’s officially soup season. Yay! I love soups. My favorite way to warm up on a cold and rainy night is to curl up in front of a cozy fire with my husband Robert and a steamy bowl of flavorful soup. This mouthwatering Italian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup recipe came to me from good friend Carol Nollsch. It’s my favorite kind of recipe — quick and easy to prepare from items usually on hand (with limited chopping!) and full of flavor. Robert is half Italian, and this dish ranks at the tippy top of his soup list.
Scrumptious and crowd-pleasing , this soup is hearty enough to be served as a main dish. Just add a Caesar salad on the side – and Carol recommends serving it with cornbread; our recipe testers also liked it with sourdough bread.
Carol also recommends making this soup the day before serving, to allow the flavors to blend.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound uncooked Italian sausage, casings removed if necessary
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 7 cups chicken broth or stock
- 2 cups seeded and diced fresh tomatoes, or 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained (see Tip below)
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 5 cups packed shredded fresh baby spinach
- 3/4 to 1 cup (3 to 4 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and sauté until browned, breaking up meat with a spatula. Drain and discard oil.
- Stir in onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the wine; reduce heat to low and simmer, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan, until wine is almost evaporated. Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes and orzo. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 to 12 minutes or until pasta is cooked.
- Stir in spinach; cook about 3 to 5 minutes or until wilted. Ladle in to soup bowls and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Tip: If using canned tomatoes, don’t drain and reduce chicken broth about 1/2 cup.