Rhody Recipe: Tomato Orzo Soup

Locally sourced ingredients go into this wholesome large-batch recipe

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Whether you’re looking for an easy meal-prepped lunch or warm pick-me-up for a chilly fall day, this hearty tomato orzo soup is the definition of cozy. Chicken breast brings the protein, onions and carrots contribute to a wholesome tomato soup base, and nutrient-dense kale gets tossed in at the end for a boost of antioxidants. This nourishing  soup can be made in a large batch to be enjoyed over and over again. 

The ingredients aren’t difficult to come by, either, and a morning in South Kingstown can easily check off each item on your list. I recommend South Coast Organics & Bulk Foods to stock up on orzo, spices, and other pantry staples in custom amounts and low-waste packaging (pro-tip: for no waste, bring your own containers!). Just around the corner, swing by South County Bread Company for a warm, crisp baguette or multigrain loaf for dipping. For fresh kale, carrots, and onions, try the South Kingstown Farmers Market on Saturdays or The Farmers Daughter or most any farmstand around the state.

Tomato Orzo Soup

Ingredients

• 1.5 cups dried orzo

• 2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes

• 10 cups chicken broth

• 2 large carrots, peeled and diced

• 1 large onion, peeled and diced

• 1/2 cup diced mushrooms

• 2 Tbsp tomato paste

• 1 tsp dried thyme

• 1/4 tsp table salt

• Fresh cracked pepper to taste

• 2 cups fresh kale, stems removed and chopped

• 1 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil

• 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast

• Optional baguette or bread of choice

Steps

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Start by making the orzo according to the package. Cook to slightly al-dente, then drain and set aside.

3. While the orzo is cooking, heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken breast to the pot and sear for 5 minutes on each side until beginning to brown. Place the chicken breast on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet and finish in the oven until the chicken registers 165°F.

4. While the chicken is in the oven, toss the diced onion, mushroom, and carrot into the pot and saute until beginning to soften, about 6 minutes.

5. Add the tomato paste and dried thyme and stir until everything is coated. Now pour in the diced tomatoes, and scrape up any brown bits off of the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Add the chicken broth and bring the soup to a low simmer. Once the chicken is done cooking, dice it into cubes and add it to the soup, along with the cooked orzo.

7. Taste the soup and season with table salt and fresh cracked pepper. Add the chopped kale and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

8. Serve with a side of bread for dipping and enjoy! Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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