Italian Orzo Soup is one of my favorite low-calorie meals. It is very healthy with a taste that cannot be denied — simply delicious. Even my nieces love it (and they don’t like soup)! An added bonus is the prep time involved – truly minimal.
- Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
- Lean ground chicken or turkey (at least 93% lean) – 12 ounces
- Chopped oregano (1 tablespoon fresh chopped or 1/2 tablespoon dried)
- Mushrooms (cremini or what is available) – 4 ounces
- Garlic – 5 cloves, chopped
- Unsalted chicken broth – 3 cups
- Water – 2 cups
- Petite diced tomatoes – 1 (15 ounce) can
- Whole wheat orzo pasta – 3/4 cup uncooked
- Spinach – 3 cups fresh
- Lemon rind – 1/2 teaspoon grated
- Red pepper (if you like it spicy) – 1/2 teaspoon
Heat a large Dutch oven if you have it (or a pot if you don’t) over a medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat. When the oil gets hot, add the lean ground chicken or turkey and then cook until browned. Make sure you stir to make sure the meat is crumbled. Add the sliced mushrooms, oregano and chopped garlic; sauté for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock, water, red pepper (if you like it spicy), and diced tomatoes. Keep scraping the pan to loosen the browned bits and the bring the mixture to a boil. Add the orzo pasta and cook for about 7 minutes. Stir in the ground lemon rind and fresh spinach and then cook for another 5 minutes.
This recipe serves 4 (I usually double it) and each serving size (2 cups) is approximately 322 calories. Enjoy!