Meatless Monday/Eat The Freezer: Spinach, tomato and orzo soup

NOTE: Remember when The Cosby Show or The Golden Girls would run a clip show? Welcome to my version of a clip show. Eat The Freezer is where we work through the frozen leftovers in my basement freezer.

NOTE II: The quart in the freezer was a little low on liquid, so I added a can of vegetable broth to bulk it up.

NOTE III: Since this ran, I’ve had friends say that they’ve swapped in fresh kale for the frozen spinach and have similar results.

Cold Monday night in October…can you think of a better night for soup? Let’s skip right to the details.

WHAT WORKED: Non-fresh ingredients. I would rather have used fresh spinach and fresh tomatoes, but the frozen and canned versions, respectively, lend themselves to both convenience and cooking. Score one for processed food.

WHAT DIDN’T: I’m not sure. I flew by the seat of my pants on this one. The recipe I found online was terrible, so I had to patch something together on the run.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: Not much. She kept sticking her face in the pot and saying, “That smells good.”

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Very likely. There are two quarts of leftovers in the freezer.

Spinach, tomato and orzo soup
By Jared Paventi

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz. frozen chopped spinach
  • 14 to 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 64 oz. vegetable broth
  • 1 cup orzo
  • sea salt

Heat olive oil over high heat in a large stockpot and saute onion until it is soft, six to seven minutes. Add garlic and cook two to three minutes until fragrant. Add the spinach, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 10 to 15 minutes.

Raise heat to medium-high and return to a boil. Add the orzo and cook nine minutes. Season with salt to taste with one to two minutes remaining. Serve hot with grated cheese and crusty bread.

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