No doubt, I have made this soup hundreds of times, to the delight of my family...yes, it's one of their all time fav's! And it's one of those recipes that becomes a template for a thousand variations, easily adjusting to improvisation, which is so important when you realize you're missing an ingredient! The original recipe was
So have a blast with this recipe! If you prefer ground turkey, go ahead! If you prefer no meat, sub in a pound of chopped mushrooms! If you don't have orzo pasta, use farro (my favorite), wild rice or barley instead. If you happen to have a roasted chicken in the fridge, remove the meat and simmer the bones to make your own broth! If you prefer a vegan version, just add a few cloves of chopped garlic with the onions, use plain water (whaaa??? Yes, I said water!) with a bit of miso or extra salt, some herbs, and a can of drained beans at the end...another favorite of mine!
1 lb ground beef
1 very large onion, diced
4 large ribs celery, diced
5 large carrots, diced
1 15oz. can tomato, crushed, chopped or puree
3/4 cup orzo (farro, barley or wild rice)
2 quarts chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups frozen green beans
2 cups corn
Salt and Pepper
1 cup frozen peas
Kidney beans or chick peas
In a large pot, saute the ground beef with the onions and a bit of salt and pepper, for about 10 minutes or until onions are transparent. Add the celery and carrots, and a bit more salt, simmer covered for 5-10 minutes. Add the tomato and simmer for another few minutes. Add the broth and water, with salt and pepper to taste. Add the orzo* and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the green beans and corn, simmer for 10 more minutes...adjust seasoning and your soup is done!
If you'd like to add a can of black beans or kidney beans, you have my thumbs up!
* If you are using farro, barley or wild rice, make sure to simmer long enough to cook through (30-50 minutes).