1 cup dry orzo
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
2 cups onion, diced
2 cups carrot, diced
1 cup celery diced
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 ½ teaspoons dry basil
½ teaspoon dry marjoram
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
5-ounce package baby spinach (4 cups)
Ciabatta bread, for serving
Butter, to toast the bread
In a small saute pan over medium heat, toast the dry orzo until browned, about five minutes, tossing often. Set aside.
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat and once hot, add the sausage and cook to brown, breaking up into small pieces as you brown. Leave the sausage fat in the pan with the cooked sausage.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, oregano, basil, marjoram, salt and pepper and cook for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook one minute.
Add diced tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about ten minutes.
Add half of the Parmesan cheese, the browned orzo and the baby spinach and simmer 10-15 minutes until the orzo is tender.
While soup is simmering, cut the ciabatta into slices, butter and toast on a grilled pan.
Serve the soup in bowls with the remaining Parmesan sprinkled over each portion and a few slices of the toasted ciabatta bread.
Keywords: Orzo Spinach Italian Sausage Soup