Sausage Orzo Soup

This is a soup with a fantastic taste and it is easy to make.

First, dice the following ingredients into small pieces and sauté in a little olive oil:

5 large garlic cloves
3 stalks of celery
2 relatively large shallots
1/8 cup virgin olive oil

While the above are sautéed over a low to medium heat, add four large cut up hot chorizo sausages — a mixture of small and large cut fragments (not slices) is good. Add the sausage fragments to the above sautéed mixture and continue under medium heat stirring until everything is mixed. Add about a teaspoon of salt. After about 3-5 minutes reduce heat to simmer.

Cut 5-6 large tomatoes into quarters, deseed and peel off the skin. Cut the tomatoes further into smaller pieces and add to the sautéed-sausage mixture. Continue heating. Cut up a bunch of Swiss chard into small pieces after excising the red rib stems from the leaves and discarding. Add these to the soup mixture as well and stir everything together while continuing to heat on low-medium heat. Additional cut up vegetables can also sometimes be added at this stage (broccoli, asparagus and cut green beans are possibilities you can experiment with the second time you make the soup–for now just stick to the above noted ingredients). Add about 2-3 50 oz. cans of chicken stock (commercial or previously prepared by you from a chicken bone skeleton). Bring to a boil or and continue to stir. Add a little more salt, but not much. It will be hard to evaluate the taste at this phase so don’t bother to taste. The soup seem rather peppery due to the sausage.

Add at least two cups of tricolored orzo ànd bring everything to a rolling boil, keeping it there for about 20 minutes. Add a tablespoon each of dried parsley, dill and oregano. Reduce heat and stir in the spices. The orzo will continue to swell over the next 10-15 minutes and will soak up some of the excess pepper. The added spices will gradually blend in and after the orzo swells maximally. You can add a little more chicken stock if the soup is too thick.

It’s ready to eat about 20 minutes after the orzo has swelled.

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