Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 167, Italian Wedding Soup

I still had some Orzo pasta and wanted to try something else with it. It's been chilly so far this season, so a good soup is welcome to heat us up.

12 oz lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups beef broth
2 cups water
1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 cup orzo pasta
4 cups shredded escarole, curly endive, and/or spinach
3 oz Parmesan cheese with rind, cut into 4 wedges (optional)

In a large saucepan, cook beef, onion and garlic, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until meat is browned and vegetables are nearly tender, stirring occasionally. Drain fat, if necessary.
Add broth, water, oregano, bay leaves and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Stir in orzo. Return to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Boil gently, uncovered, 10 minutes or until pasta is just tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in escarole.
To serve, place wedge of cheese in 4 soup bowls. Ladle hot soup into bowls.

Makes 4 main dish servings

Bay leaves add a wonderful flavor to recipes, but be sure to remove them before serving. I was able to find the wedges of Parmesan cheese in the deli section of Target, but you may also be able to find ti at your local grocery store in the deli department. It isn't cheap, but is very flavorful and has a better flavor than the already shredded Parmesan. If you can't find escarole or endive, spinach is a suitable substitute. Check your organic section for the first two; they're more likely to be found there.

Flavor Rating: Excellent, I really loved this soup.

Ease of Preparation: Easy, it may have a few steps, but it's not hard to make.

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