Italian Orzo Soup with Sausage Meatballs, Spinach and Tomatoes
I am pretending it’s not 90 degrees out and making soup this week. Guys, I don’t consider myself a very envious person, but this is the time of year where I start to experience major Fall Envy. I’ve lived in Florida most of my life (I was 10 years old when I moved here from NY) so our fall season is not new or shocking to me in any way. I’m pretty used to it whether I like it or not. But over the years, since social media hit the scene, fall in other parts of the country – REAL FALL – is a little more in your (my) face I guess you can say. It’s mid-September and I can’t tell you how many pictures I’ve seen already of apple picking, long sleeves, the start of leaves changing and yes…boots. My legs start to instantly sweat when I even think about wearing boots.
(Apples, Pumpkins and Palm Trees … Fall in Florida)
Like I said. It’s 90 degrees and I have Fall Envy. (has fall even officially started yet???)
I’m half kidding about making soup in hot weather because I actually like soup all year round. Soup in the summer is actually a nice way to enjoy all those colorful veggies that are bursting everywhere you look. Two of my favorite soups to make in the summer months are this Summer Vegetable Soup with Pesto and Summer Chicken Chili Verde. Soup is good food anytime of year if you ask me.
A few weeks ago my sister in law Jamie sent me a pin of this Italian Orzo Soup my friend Ali cooked up. The beautiful image of this soup stuck in my mind and I finally got around to making it this week. I needed a make ahead dinner for one of our nights and soup always fits the bill for evenings where we all may be eating at different times because of our schedules. What made it even better is that I already had all of the ingredients on hand in my pantry, fridge and freezer. (I love it when that happens.)
Italian Orzo Soup with Sausage Meatballs, Spinach and Tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 cups water (I add some of this water to cans of tomatoes with water to get extra flavor)
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup whole wheat orzo
- 1 lb fresh Italian chicken or turkey sausage, out of casings and rolled into small meatballs (see tip below)
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach or baby kale (I used a fresh spinach and baby kale blend)
- In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add onions, garlic and celery. Saute for 2-3 minutes until all starts to soften and become fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, chicken stock, water, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add orzo and sausage meatballs.
- Bring to another boil then let simmer on low heat for 12 minutes. Stir in fresh spinach and/or baby kale and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust.
- Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese.
Tip: Buy fresh Italian sausage links (chicken, turkey or pork) and use it to make easy meatballs for soup like this. Squeeze about an inch or so of the fresh ground sausage meat out of the casing and roll into a small meatball. Continue to do this will all of the sausage links. Easy meatballs!
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Truth: I experience no fall envy…I hate chilly and cold weather alike haha. We’re actually traveling for a wedding this weekend and I’m FEARING the temperatures. I love soup year round to. This one looks fantastic. Can never go wrong with mini meatballs in soup
there is a small window of chilly/cold temperature I tolerate. I need to be able to wear flip flops is my general rule of thumb. 🙂 I just want to be outside right now and breathe in fresh non-humid air! 🙂 Maybe be able to wear a hoodie at night? 😉
Thanks about the soup…the meatballs are my kids’ favorite part!
Awww..come apple picking with us this weekend!!!! Micah and Jacob can go on our shoulders to reach them!! Btw I am LOVING this soup!!! I love the sausage meatball idea – so easy, Rich would be all over this too!!
I can’t even imagine what a freshly picked apple tastes like!! The sausage meatballs are the way to go when you don’t have a lot of time to deal with making meatballs!
I’ve stocked up on Fall smelling candles just so I feel like it is Fall. The fall recipes have also started even though we are in the 80’s and 90’s as well.
This italian orzo soup is perfect.
yes, once I started lighting the candles it changed everything…nothing beats those scents! Thanks Meagan!
Oh my, that candle is hilarious! I totally know what you mean about Fall envy… here in Arizona we all know we have two more months before we can wear jeans and not look like a fool! I’m loving this soup recipe!
I was just thinking about some new soups I wanted to make since the weather is cooling down. I’ve made something similar but I’ll definitely try this recipe!
This looks so comforting and delicious no matter the temperature!
I will trade places with you anytime. New England autumn turns very quickly into long, long, long and ugly winters. You might have humidity, but you get to be outside and enjoy the beauty of flowers, palm trees, and sunshine! Soup looks wonderful.
Girl you KNOW how drawn I am to these types of soups. I’m going in. Head first.
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I could not find the tip alluded to in the ingredient list about making the meatballs. What was the tip, please?
Sorry about that and I’m glad you asked – I think it was deleted when I updated my site. I just added it back into the notes section of the recipe. Basically if you purchase fresh Italian sausage links (chicken, turkey, or pork) and squeeze out about an inch of the ground meat from the casings and roll into a little ball you will have easy meatballs 🙂
Do you put the meatballs in raw or do you cook them first?
I put them in raw and they cook up in the soup! I roll them into small sized balls so they cook up nicely.