A Taste of Home Cooking's recipe swap theme was soups and stews for this round, and with perfect timing. Despite a pretty mild winter so far, we had a little cold snap this past weekend (though none of the snow that was predicted), and soup was exactly right. My assignment was Tomato Orzo Soup from Melissa at Fried Rice and Donut Holes.
This soup was really good, and really filling despite being basically vegetarian. I made a few adjustments based on what I had on hand, which meant using carrots to make up for the celery, whole San Marzano tomatoes instead of diced, and chicken broth instead of the vegetable broth called for. I also used my stick blender to get a smoother texture, since I'm feeding someone who likes "just soup, no chunks." The tanginess from the sour cream rounds out the flavors nicely, and I think plain Greek yogurt would work equally well. If you're feeling fancy and have some time on your hands, basil puree and sour cream thinned with a little lemon juice make nice garnishes
Tomato Orzo Soup
What's in it:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 c finely diced onion
1 c finely diced carrot
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 carton (32 oz) chicken broth
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 1/4 c orzo pasta
1/2 c sour cream
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
How to make it:
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions and carrots, and cook on medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 2 more minutes.
Add the whole and crushed tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, break up the whole tomatoes. Add the stock, blend to desired texture with an immersion blender, and return to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the pasta and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until the pasta is firm but tender. Remove from heat, add sour cream, and fold in the basil.
Serve hot, garnished with additional sour cream, basil and parmesan if desired.