Tomato, Orzo and Dill Soup
This is the kind of tomato soup that really is a meal, especially if you give it a good sprinkle of cheese on the top.
Serving Size: 4
Do you forget about tomato soup? I do. These days when there is soup on the menu, whether it’s at one of those soup and sandwich joints, or any number of restaurants, there are often more adventurous items on offer, like Thai Lemongrass Curry Soup or Moroccan Lentil Soup. Tomato soup seems sort of humble next to these choices, maybe old-fashioned.
According to several sources, though, tomato soup is the number two soup sold in supermarkets in the U.S., right behind good old chicken noodle. And recently I had a really good tomato at a friend’s house, and it reminded me how comforting and wonderful it was. So I got back on the tomato soup wagon, and have been playing around with versions since then.
This is the kind of tomato soup that really is a meal, especially if you give it a good sprinkle of cheese on the top. You could also use all fresh tomatoes, or some fresh and some canned, each of which will give the soup a different character.
You could also use rice or any cooked grain instead of the orzo, and basil or oregano instead of the dill. You could add some chopped fennel and/or some chopped celery when you add the carrots (I love both of these additions, but in the interest of keeping the recipe as easy and streamlined as possible, I am just mentioning them as optional). If you use fennel, and have some fresh fronds from the top, those can be minced for a lovely finishing garnish as well.
And if you like a chunkier soup, skip the pureeing before the orzo and dill are added, and just ladle it up homey-style. Using vegetarian broth will result in a purely vegetarian, even vegan (skip the Parmesan), soup.
Now that we’re all on the same tomato soup page, you might want to join me for a bowl of Creamy Tomato Soup or Roasted Tomato Gazpacho—two tomato soups on the opposite ends of the spectrum from one another, each perfect in its own way.
Tomato, Orzo and Dill Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup dried orzo, cooked according to package directions
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, plus more for sprinkling
- Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
1.. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, not allowing the vegetables to brown.
2. Add the tomatoes, and broth to the pot, turn the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to gently simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes.
3. Very carefully transfer the soup in batches to a food processor blender and puree until smooth, or use an immersion blender and puree right in the pot (or not, if you want a chunky soup). Stir in the cooked orzo and dill. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
4. Serve hot, with Parmesan and additional mince dill, if desired.