Italian Sausage Soup With Orzo

  • 1 LB mild Italian sausage
  • 1 cup orzo pasta (tri-color or plain)
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • ½ onion
  • 1 TBS garlic
  • 1 – 28oz can crushed tomato
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups spinach (tightly packed)
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Once warm, add chopped onion and garlic. Saute until the onion has softened and raw garlic smell is gone. Roughly, break sausage into small chunks and add to the pan. Saute 5-6 minutes until they are browned and aromatic. Deglaze the pot by adding stock. Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any brown bits. Stir in the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. When the stock comes to a boil, stir in orzo pasta. Cover and let it cook for 8-10 minutes on medium-low heat until orzo is almost cooked. Stir intermittently, to prevent orzo from getting stuck on the bottom of the pan. Add spinach to the pot, stir and let it cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the flame. Stir in half and half and parmesan cheese.