Canadian foodie Voula Halliday is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef and author of Eat at Home, a collection of 150 recipes created to take the fuss out of cooking at home. Though targeted at vegetarians, Halliday’s one-pot pleaser works for every tastebud.
“When I want to feed my family and friends a soup that is brightly flavoured, presents beautifully and is soothingly comforting, this recipe for roast vegetable and orzo soup is what I rely on,” she says.
The wisdom of reducing waste, buying only what you need and learning to even love the leftovers are all in her book but, here, she shares this flavour-adding tip: “Roasting the vegetables beforehand caramelizes them and adds a depth of flavour that rounds out the tanginess of the tomato so nicely. It’s an easy recipe to prepare that can be doubled and made ahead. Serve with garlic bread or fresh slices of crusty sourdough bread for those who like to dip into their soup until the bowl is wiped clean.
“This soup is jammed full of flavourful roasted vegetables,” writes Halliday in Eat at Home. “The addition of pasta, oregano and thyme gives it a Mediterranean touch that’s oh-so-comforting.”
Voula Halliday’s Roast Vegetable and Orzo Soup
4 cloves garlic
3 zucchini, cut in rounds
2 large carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
2 red bell peppers,
cut in chunks
1 large yellow onion, cut in chunks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
or 2 tsp dried
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 cups dried orzo pasta or macaroni noodles
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (28 oz)crushed tomatoes
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp salt
In large roasting pan, combine garlic, zucchini, carrots, bell peppers and onion. Drizzle with oil and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with thyme and oregano. Bake in 450 F oven just until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In saucepan, combine broth, tomatoes, pepper, salt and roasted vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Working in small batches, transfer soup to bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade and pulse until creamy. Return to saucepan, stir in cooked orzo and heat until warmed through. Ladle into bowls and serve. (Soup keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.)
A version of this article appeared in the November 2017 issue with the headline, “Voula Halliday’s Roast Vegetable and Orzo Soup,” p. 50-51.