Tomatoes are everywhere at this time of year and are the perfect fruit (yes fruit!) around which to base a quick midweek supper.
Here in Calgary I can buy gorgeous local hot house tomatoes at all of the local Farmers Markets we enjoy in town.
But despite a good hot summer here in Calgary, my tomato plants still have a lot of green fruit but not very many red ones (sigh!) Look at that lonely red cherry tomato hanging out by itself. I have been able to pick a couple of the cherry tomatoes but I am still waiting for a gorgeous glut of tomatoes at the end of the summer. Ah! Maybe a September will bring an Indian Summer for my tomato plants to enjoy.
This Tomato Spinach and Orzo soup uses the end of summer seasonal glut of tomatoes and takes your regular quick fix midweek tomato/pasta supper and gives it a twist. It’s authentic in flavour and both delicious and vibrant in colour and nutrition. All kids love orzo, the tiny pearl of the pasta world so this soup popular with all the family.
Tomatoes, the back bone of the Mediterranean diet, are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene which has been linked in clinical trails to a reduced risk of both stroke and some cancers. Tomatoes also provide both soluble and insoluble fibre for a healthy digestive tract and support heart health by reducing cholesterol and LDL fatty acid levels in the blood and preventing platelet aggregation (clumping of red blood cells) which can lead to atherosclerosis.
This soup is also packed with iron rich spinach and there is a beautiful synergy here as iron is better absorbed by the body in the presence of vitamin C which is abundant in this soup courtesy of the tomato!
Altogether a delicious and healthy end of summer dish to add to your back to school, quick supper recipe rotation.
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large white onion chopped
- 3 sticks celery finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic
- 4 cups ripe tomatoes chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 11/2 tbsp pesto
- 11/2 cup whole wheat Orzo pasta. (I used Kamut Orzo to vary my grains)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 3 cups spinach finely chopped
- Put the olive oil in a large pan and warm
- Add the onion, celery, chopped garlic and dried herbs.
- Sweat the vegetables and herbs on a low heat for 10 minutes until they are throughly softened.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, chicken broth, orzo and pesto.
- Heat the soup through and simmer for 15 minutes or until the orzo is cooked stirring occasionally.
- Add the spinach just before serving allowing it to wilt slightly rather than over cook.
- If you like your soup with a kick, add a finely chopped fresh red chile with the vegetables.
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