Cooked with bone broth and plenty of herbs, this tomato cabbage orzo soup is made even more tasty with the addition of browned mushrooms and crispy bacon. Enjoy with crusty bread for a light but satisfying meal.
What is orzo? It is pasta shaped like large grains of rice. Its most popular use is in soups but it can also be cooked like risotto. You can even serve it by itself the way you would rice.
This tomato cabbage orzo soup is a one-pot dish. It starts with cooking the bacon until fat has been rendered. In the bacon fat, the vegetables are sauteed with herbs. The sliced mushrooms are added and the cabbage is tossed in. Homemade bone broth is poured in and, when the cabbage has softened, the orzo is stirred in. Everything is simmered together until the orzo is al dente.
For best results, use bacon with a generous amount of fat. You’ll get the best flavor from smoked unsweetened bacon.
The button mushrooms may be brown or white, or a combination of the two. You may even use some other mushroom variety. The recipe is that versatile. Lots of room for personalization.
Tomato Cabbage Orzo Soup
- 250 grams sliced belly bacon preferably smoked and unsweetened
- 8 large and plump tomatoes
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 large head white cabbage
- 300 grams fresh mushrooms (I used Swiss brown mushrooms)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 8 cups bone broth
- 1 and 1/2 cups orzo
Cut the bacon slices into half-inch pieces.
Dice the tomatoes.
Peel and chop the onion.
Peel and mince the garlic.
Core and slice the cabbage.
Thinly slice the mushrooms.
Brush the bottom of the pot with olive oil. Heat.
Spread the bacon pieces evenly on the bottom of the pot. Cook over medium heat without disturbing for about two minutes then stir. Continue cooking until the bacon pieces are browned and swimming in a small pool of fat. Scoop out the bacon and set aside.
In the hot oil in the pot, saute the onion and garlic with the oregano. When softened, add the tomatoes, basil and sage. Cook for a minute.
Add the mushrooms to the pot. Cook, stirring, until the mushroom slices shrink a little.
Add the cabbage to the pot. Cook, tossing, just until the cabbage starts to wilt.
Pour in the bone broth. Bring to a gentle boil. Taste. Add salt and pepper, as needed (very important if your bone broth is unseasoned or under-seasoned).
Lower the heat, cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes.
Turn up the heat. Pour the orzo into the pot. Cook, stirring, until the mixture once again comes to a gently boil.
Lower the heat once more. Cover the pot and cook the soup until the orzo is just done, cooked through but still firm. It takes about seven minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with the cooked bacon.