Today was a depressingly gray Saturday and my daughter was in a total funk as a result of mommy making her sit at the kitchen table and do more homework than she had in mind before going off for an afternoon of ballet rehearsal. I decided she needed a big burst of warm energy, as she’s probably subsisted on nothing but cheap sugar for the last 12 hours, having just come back from a sleepover, so I pulled out my stockpot and made a big pot of this warming soup – which was a total mood-changer.
The key in this quick-fix soup is the spicy chipotle, which gives it a smokey kick. I always have a couple of cans of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce to hand. I throw a can in the blender and keep it in an old jelly jar in the fridge for weeks – a little goes a long way!
Spicy Bean & Orzo Soup
Serves 4-6 hungry people
2tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, chopped
5 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed (or 1tsp dried thyme)
1tsp smoked paprika
1tsp chipotle sauce
1 tsp sea salt & 1tsp ground black pepper
1 32oz box of veggie stock
1 28oz can organic tomatoes
1 15oz can cannellini beans
4 tbsp whole wheat orzo
Heat the oil in a large stockpot and sweat the onions, celery and garlic on a medium heat until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
Add the carrots herbs and seasoning and saute for another minute or so.
Add the stock and the tomatoes. I used whole canned tomatoes and I like to break them up a bit with the wooden spoon – you could also use diced tomatoes.
Add the beans and the orzo and simmer for half-an hour.
Serve with warm crusty bread.