Italian Sausage and Orzo Soup

I was in the mood for something /other/ than turkey tonight.  I’ve cooked a couple of turkeys over the past few weeks, and well, I’m just a bit tired of it ;)

This recipe serves 6 easily, so I halved it for tonight’s dinner.  I also didn’t have any fresh parsley nor basil, so I used the dried I had in the cupboard.  I used 1/4 teaspoon of each.  I should have used 1 teaspoon of basil.  Add it in about 10-15 minutes before you are ready to serve, so the herbs have time to re-hydrate, and flavor the soup.




For those that are not familiar with orzo, it is a regular semolina pasta, shaped like rice, but not made from rice.


Sausage and Orzo Soup

1 pound of Italian sausage
2 carrots, shredded or grated
1 onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 can of tomatoes, chopped (with the juice)(a 28 oz can)
6 cups of chicken stock (if not making your own, use low-sodium)
1/2 cup orzo pasta
1/4 cup parsley (Italian, if possible), chopped
1/4 cup basil, cut in chiffonade
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste

In your soup pot, cook the sausage until browned and then remove, cutting into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces.

Add the carrots, onion, garlic and celery and sauté.  There is usually enough oil left in the pan from the sausage, but if not, add a tablespoon.  Once the vegetables are sauteed, add the tomatoes and chicken stock, and simmer on medium for 15-20 minutes.

Return the sausage to the pot and continue to simmer.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo until it’s al-dente.

Add the parsley, salt & pepper, and red pepper flakes. 

Serve soup over the orzo, and garnish with the fresh basil.

You can also cook the orzo in the soup, if you like.  There is enough liquid to allow for the cooking.  After you put the sausage back into the pot, add the orzo and cook about 20 minutes on a low boil, until the orzo is done. 


If you cook the pasta in a different pot, you’ll be able to freeze this soup easily.  Also, if you don’t add the pasta to the soup, it will not absorb all the broth of the soup.

If you don’t have orzo pasta, use your favorite rice.  This is really good with wild rice.

About Michie

I write two blogs - This Food Thing, ( and This Life I Lead (
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0 Responses to Italian Sausage and Orzo Soup

  1. buffy says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! I had this soup for the first time two weeks ago, and I’ve been hunting for a recipe ever since. I tasted it, and wanted to just drop my head into the bowl and inhale! Classy, huh?? *G* The scent is fabulous, the taste is just so satisfying. On a rainy fall evening, or a cold winter’s night it would be perfect, but it hit the spot at the end of August, too.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  2. lawdy says:

    I hope you enjoy it — it’s one of our favorite soups. I’m so looking forward to it getting to be “soup weather” — this’ll be one of the first things I make.

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