It's a perfectly seasoned, richly flavored soup that's made with Italian seasoned pork sausage, filling orzo pasta, lots of tender fresh vegetables and plenty of herbs and garlic to season. In other words you'll get plenty of rich and meaty, herbaceous flavor in every spoonful!
Ready in: 50minutes
1lb.Italian sausage(mild or hot as preferred)
1 1/2cups choppedyellow onion(1 medium)
1cup dicedcarrots(2 medium)
3/4cup slicedcelery(2 ribs)
3/4cup dicedbell pepper(1 small)
1Tbsp mincedgarlic(3 cloves)
4cupslow-sodium chicken broth,then more as desired to thin
1(15 oz) cantomato sauce
1(14.5 oz) canpetite diced tomatoes
1 1/2tspItalian seasoning
3/4cupdry orzo pasta
3Tbsp choppedfresh parsley
2Tbsp choppedfresh basil(optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Break sausage into chunks into pot.
Let brown on bottom about 3 minutes, then turn and break up sausage and cook until no longer pink. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, leave rendered fat in pot over medium-high heat.
You should have about 1 Tbsp fat in pot, if needed add a little more olive oil or drain off some excess fat if there's too much.
Add onions, carrots, celery and bell pepper and saute until starting to soften, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
Pour in broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and add Italian seasoning. Return sausage to pot and season mixture with salt and pepper to taste (you shouldn't need much salt).
Bring to a simmer then cover, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer 5 - 10 minutes until veggies are almost soft.
Add orzo. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally (while scraping along bottom of pot as orzo will tend to stick). Cook until nearly al dente. About 8 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in some ice (1/2 cup or so) if you want to help stop the orzo from cooking and getting mushy. Stir in fresh parsley and basil.
Serve warm, topping servings with grated parmesan if desired.
If you need to cut some sodium in the recipe use unsalted chicken stock.
Makes about 10 cups.
Soup could also be made with Italian turkey sausage instead of pork sausage.
Add other vegetables such as zucchini, kale or spinach.
Try it with another pasta such as ditalini, elbow, or acini de pepe.
Or replace pasta with cheese tortellini.
Substitute diced cauliflower in place of the orzo to cut some of the carbs.
Season with other fresh herbs in place of dried Italian seasoning. Rosemary and oregano are other great options, add to taste.
Make it spicy by using hot Italian sausage or adding red pepper flakes to taste.