The Kid doesn’t often ask for special things for dinner so when she sends me a recipe idea to try, I typically jump right on it… LOL, since it involves The Kid and food, time estimation = 5 seconds. Give or take, of course. 😉 In all seriousness, I do get quite excited when she has a request and it’s fun to spend time in the kitchen making something she wants to eat.
We’ve tried a few things like Chicken Teriyaki, Coffee Cake, and Copycat Hamburger Helper. She’s a big soup fan so this time, the recipe combined her favorites in one bowl – tomatoes, pasta and soup. It’s always interesting when the two of us get together in the kitchen. I wing it with combining steps to save time, and she stands there telling me “that’s not the recipe!”
I reminded her that the recipe actually called for things like celery which she removed because she doesn’t like celery. Thus her argument about not following a recipe was negated before I started. In my defense, I saw no reason to cook my onions and carrots separately so I opted to save time and multi-task. The veggies didn’t complain.
Italian Tomato Soup with Orzo and Spinach
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup carrots, cut into coins
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, not drained
- 8 oz uncooked orzo pasta
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pan, and add the onions and carrots. Cook for about 3 minutes until the onion softens. Stir occasionally to keep the onion from burning. Add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the stock, undrained tomatoes, pasta and spices. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Remove from heat and stir in the spinach just until wilted. Divide into bowls and serve.
Don’t worry about the size of your onions and carrots. It doesn’t have to be exact, but just dice them to a size that looks good to you and try to make them similar for cooking time. If you like your soup chunky, make the pieces bigger. If you like a smoother soup, make the pieces fine.
You can also use any small pasta that you have like alphabet noodles, ditalini, small elbows, or even break spaghetti into small pieces. I served my soup with shredded chicken to add protein. You can opt for ground beef or shrimp if you like. It’s pretty customizable and obviously kid friendly. Leftovers store and reheat well, so pour some into a thermos and take it for lunch the next day with a roll on the side.
Making dinner from scratch doesn’t have to take a lot of time or involve fancy ingredients, just use what you have and you can have a homecooked meal in about 15 minutes with a little creativity.