This recipe is a delicious blend of flavors that will warm you up on a cold day. I love the bright green spinach for the color and the nutrition. The carrots, onions, and celery are par cooked in the microwave to ensure that they are soft enough by the time the quick-to-cook orzo is done. This is a terrific meatless soup but if you’re a meat lover you could easily add in some rotisserie chicken and it would be fabulous.
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried rosemary leaves
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 tsp canola or olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
- 5 cups veggie or chicken broth
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup half and half (optional)
- 3 cups spinach
- Salt and pepper
- Parmesan cheese
- In a microwave safe bowl, stir together the diced onion, garlic, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, tomato paste, carrots, celery and oil. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring every 90 seconds. Add to the slow cooker.
- Add in bay leaf, tomatoes, broth, orzo and salt.
- Cover and cook on LOW for about 2-4 hours, or until orzo is tender.
- Warm the half and half and add in, if desired (this just gives it a more creamy taste, but you can totally leave it out if you want).
- Stir in spinach and then salt and pepper to taste (I added in another 1/2 tsp of salt). Ladle into serving bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.
Ideal slow cooker size: 5-6 quart