Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rainy day soup: Lemony spinach orzo soup with mushrooms

I love this soup! It is one of my favorite things to make on a rainy afternoon! Riley doesnt care for it much, as it does have a little kick to it, but Ryan and I can eat it for days! I first discovered this recipe here, and have slightly changed it up. And you can change it up too! Feel free to use fresh or frozen spinach, mushrooms or no mushrooms. I have made this using both fresh and frozen spinach and both have turned out great, but when you can do fresh it is always just a tad better! When I made it this afternoon, I used frozen organic spinach and I also realized I was all out of fresh parmesan cheese so I used this:
Its Irish cheese I picked up at Costco a few weeks ago...they were giving out samples and after one bite I just had to have a whole block of it! I know, I am nuts, but in place of parmesan, this did just fine! Which is awesome, since I have a whole bunch of it and I use Parmesan almost daily.
 Happy cooking! -Jess

Lemony Spinach & Orzo soup with Mushrooms

2 TBSP. olive oil
half of a medium sized red onion, or one small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 whole lemon, zest and juiced
1 tsp. Red pepper flakes (if you dont like things too spice, start with just 1/2 tsp.)
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 cups fresh or frozen Organic Spinach
1 1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta
6-7 cups Organic veggie broth
1/2-1 cup Organic baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 TBSP. water
1 TBSP. corn starch
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese 

Heat olive oil in a large pot over low heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Cook for about 5 minutes until onions are tender. turn heat up a tad and add spinach and orzo. When using frozen spinach you can just toss it right in with out thawing it out and all that, you will just add less water/veggie broth. Cook spinach and orzo for about 1 minute, add broth and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 7 minutes then add mushrooms and continue cooking for another 5-8 minutes, until orzo is barely tender. Whisk water and corn starch in small bowl. With soup on a light boil, whisk in cornstarch mixture and stir rapidly for about 3 minutes, allowing soup to thicken slightly. Stir in Parmesan and serve immediately. Garnish with extra cheese if desired. Enjoy! 

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