Italian Sausage Orzo Soup
A hearty, vegetable-loaded soup with super flavorful Italian sausage and lots of orzo pasta. It’s lightly creamy and completely comforting on chilly evenings.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces mild Italian sausage (remove from casings if using links)
- 1/4 cup red wine,
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 leek, chopped (white and light green parts only)
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots, about 1 medium
- 1/2 cup diced celery, about 2 ribs
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Italian herb blend
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or seasoned salt
- 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cup dried orzo pasta
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, sliced chiffonade
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for garnish
- flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped, for garnish
Heat the oil in a 4 to 5 quart Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat, until shimmering. Crumble the sausage into the pot, and saute, breaking up clumps, until browned (about 5 minutes). Pour in a splash of wine, and deglaze the pan.
Add the onions, leeks, carrots, celery, zucchini, and garlic to the pot. Cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the remaining wine, tomato paste, herbs, and salt and stir until the wine reduces/gets absorbed into the mixture.
Add the can of diced tomatoes with its liquids, and the chicken broth. Increase heat to bring the soup to a light boil, then reduce to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Cover partially with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes.
While the soup simmers, prepare the orzo in a small pot, according to package directions. Drain, and add to soup.
Add the spinach leaves and dairy, and mix well. The spinach slivers will quickly wilt, as they should.
Top the soup with a sprinkling of the grated cheese and parsley.