SPINACH, SAUSAGE AND ORZO SOUP
Orzo is the perfect pasta for soup. Shaped like grains of rice, it cooks quickly in broth, taking on the flavor of the soup. Orzo cooks quicker than other pastas, so serve straightaway, otherwise it may become mushy. Switch the fresh herbs for a drizzle of homemade pesto if you fancy, or add a spoonful of aioli or salsa verde.
6 plump sausages — look for something with lots of onion or garlic 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, diced 1 carrot, coarsely
chopped 1 stalk of celery, diced 2 cloves of garlic,
crushed 1 tablespoon tomato
paste Generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Small pinch of dried
oregano Scant 3 1/2 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth 1 bay leaf 3 1/2 ounces orzo or other
small pasta 2 1/2 cups spinach, stems removed, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons light or
heavy cream Salt and freshly ground
To serve: Fresh parsley, chopped Fresh basil, chopped Freshly grated
Remove the sausage casings and shape the meat into little meatballs. Place the oil in a heavy pan with a lid over medium to high heat and add the sausage meatballs. Brown them all over, then lift out and set aside. Turn the
heat down to medium and add the onion, carrot, celery and a pinch of salt and pepper; saute for 10 minutes, until soft and beginning to brown.
Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Next, add the nutmeg, oregano, broth and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add the orzo, spinach and meatballs and simmer for 4 minutes, or until the orzo and meatballs are cooked. Remove from the heat, add the cream, and remove the bay leaf. Taste and add more salt, freshly ground black pepper or nutmeg, if necessary.
Serve in wide bowls, with the parsley, basil, and freshly grated Parmesan on top. Serves 4.
— From “Leon Happy Soups” by Rebecca Seal and John Vincent (Conran Octopus, $19.99)
This sausage, spinach and orzo soup from “Leon Happy Soups” comes together quickly and in a single pot.