Tomato + Orzo Soup + Grilled Cheese Croutons

Serves: 4 (for 2 nights)



  • 6T good olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 2T minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 8 cups veggie stock
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 1 tsp tumeric OR 2 large pinches of saffron threads, cut into small pieces
  • 1T salt and 2t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (no more) dried whole wheat orzo (available at Sprouts)
  • 1 cup cashew cream (1/2 cup raw cashews + 1/2 cup water blended until smooth)
  • 5 oz spinach, lightly chopped (optional)
  • grilled cheese croutons (see recipe below), regular croutons*, or parmesan

*Sourdough toasted in olive oil, garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika.

Grilled Cheese Croutons:

  • 8 (½-inch-thick) slices fresh sourdough or whole wheat bread
  • 8 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated



  1. In a very large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Stir in the veggie stock, tomatoes, tumeric or saffron, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1.5-2 teaspoons pepper.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 8 minutes.
  6. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.)
  7. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Add in the spinach.
  9. Top with parmesan, if not adding the croutons.

Grilled Cheese Croutons:

  1. Heat a panini grill.
  2. Place the four slices of bread on the grill and pile Gruyère on each slice.
  3. Place the remaining four slices of bread on top of the Gruyère.
  4. Grill the sandwiches on the panini grill for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned.
  5. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
  6. Serve the soup hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top.

Variations & Notes:

  • Try with cooked brown rice instead of orzo for a healthier version.
  • This recipe is adapted from an Ina Garten recipe.

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