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Author Notes: Now, when I first started making this soup, I was thinking of a soup like "Chicken Noodle" minus the chicken obviously, with a good ol' Mirepoix base. And then as it started coming together, I thought, "Oooohhhh some cream would go really nicely in this"....and then the lemon came to mind....and then I decided to throw in a little spinach.
I will have to remember this soup, if I'm ever feeling under the weather. It's the perfect feel good pick me up type of soup. And I imagine it will also be great for nursing a cold by adding a little turmeric to it and leaving out any dairy products. —Supper With Michelle - Michelle Braxton
Serves 3 -4
- 2 - 3 tablespoons A good Olive Oil (or oil of your choice)
- 2 Medium Carrots (sliced)
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion (diced)
- 1 - 2 Stalks of Celery (finely chopped)
- 2 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
- 1 pinch Red Chili Flakes (optional)
- 5 - 6 cups Vegetable Broth (or water)
- 1/2 - 3/4 cups Orzo Pasta
- 1 cup Half and Half Milk (Can be substituted with a heavy non-dairy milk such as coconut milk to make this soup vegan)
- 1 - 2 small Lemons (zest 1 Lemon - and you'll use the juice of this one in the soup)
- 2 - 3 cups Spinach (lightly packed, hard stems removed, and roughly chopped if needed)
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
- A "good" freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (1/4 cup)
- Finely Chopped Herbs such as: Parsley or Basil
- Kale or Swiss Chard can be substituted for the Spinach
- In a large pot, heat olive oil on a low - medium heat, add in carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and red chili flakes. Sauté for 5 - 10 minutes or until onions become translucent. Pour in vegetable broth and turn heat up just a bit and bring soup to a boil. Then add in your Orzo and let that boil for about 8 - 10 minutes until pasta is almost done cooking. Then bring heat back down to a low simmer, and stir in half and half, spinach, lemon zest, and the juice from one lemon(no seeds). Taste and add in salt and pepper to your liking. Allow to simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so. Plate up your bowls and garnish with a thin slice or two of lemon(seeds removed) and/or any other toppings that you'd like. **If you want to add in Parmesan Cheese, I would suggest adding that in a few minutes before you add in your spinach, so that it has time to melt. If not, it will cling to your spinach. Or you can just sprinkle a little on top of each dish as you serve them.** **The pasta will absorb a lot of your liquid so, if it gets too thick, then add a little more water in to thin it out a bit.**
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Best Thing You Ate This Year