Healthy Vegetable Orzo Soup
Yields: about 9 cups Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 1 hour
Filled with hearty vegetables, this soup is loaded with nutrition and flavor! Perfect for a busy weeknight dinner, especially with a slice of fresh crusty bread.
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup white or yellow onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup sweet potato (skin on), diced
1 cup zucchini, diced
1/2 cup Swiss chard, diced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 bay leaves
3 cups crushed or diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup dried orzo pasta
1. In a large pot, sauté olive oil, garlic, diced onions, carrots, sweet potato, zucchini, Swiss chard, thyme, oregano and salt over medium heat about 7-10 minutes until lightly browned.
2. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, and broth. Cook for about 20 minutes until soup is boiling.
3. Add orzo pasta to boiling soup. Cook on medium for another 20 minutes or so until orzo is cooked through.
4. Turn heat off and remove bay leaves from soup. Garnish with cheese, if desired and serve.
There is nothing like a warm soup on a cold day, dreary day. Equally, there’s something especially refreshing about a hearty vegetable soup after multiple meals of not-so-healthy food. The latter is probably more representative of our experiences lately. Between birthday parties, evening activities and over fall-mania, it’s more difficult to have a home-cooked meal. Granted our meals aren’t awful, but let’s just say, sometimes they are nutritionally challenged…
This soup is quick to prep, and its ingredients are pretty standard staples in the pantry and fridge. It is loaded with immune-boosting properties from carrots, sweet potatoes and garlic. Another immune strengthening vitamin, Vitamin C is prevalent tomatoes, which makes up the base of the soup. The soup is low in fat, yet filled with zest.
You could always substitute a different pasta, but the amount of liquids might need to be adjusted. Orzo is about the same size as the other vegetables and adds the perfect change in texture that compliments the slowly cooked vegetables. Don’t forget the cheese! Adding some delicious Parmesan or Asiago cheese would be a delightful burst of flavor!