Tomato Soup with Orzo

Ina Garten’s recipes never disappoint me, and her latest collection, Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust, is no exception.  With a name like that, the recipes better work, right?  And it’s true; everything I’ve made from it so far has been a winner.
Tomato Soup with Orzo
I chose to make this soup because it reminded me of the comforting tomato soup with elbow macaroni my mom used to make for lunch on rainy Sunday afternoons.  Where I am, the season is just about to make that leap from winter to spring, otherwise known as soups and stews to burgers and salads.  Although we’re close, I’m convinced there are a few soup days left, and this Tomato Soup with Orzo would be a good choice.

Tomato Soup with Orzo 2

Tomato Soup with Orzo
Serves 4-6

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano*
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
dried Italian seasonings to taste
1/2 cup orzo
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a large nonstick pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Do not let the garlic brown.  Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, salt, both peppers, and Italian seasonings.  Bring soup to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

If you prefer your soup to be on the smoother side, you can use a hand blender at this point to puree the soup in the pot.  Alternatively, you can puree in a blender in two or three batches.  Do not fill the blender more than half-way, and be sure to cover the lid with a kitchen towel.  Press down tightly to hold the lid in place while blending.  Pour the soup back into the original pot.

Add orzo and cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring often, until pasta is just about done.  Stir in the cream and simmer 2-3 minutes.  Enjoy.

Notes:
Slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof:  Recipes You Can Trust.
To use whole-canned tomatoes, add before the garlic and break up well with the back of a large spoon.

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