This spinach, sausage and orzo soup offers a whole meal and a big dose of comfort in one bowl for those midwinter days when you want dinner on
the sofa and minimal washing up.
6 plump sausages (ideally with lots of onion or garlic)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp tomato purée
A generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
A small pinch of dried oregano
800ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
100g orzo or other small pasta
150g spinach, stems removed, roughly chopped
2 tbsp single or double cream
Fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh basil, chopped
Freshly grated parmesan
1 Remove the sausage casings and shape the meat into little meatballs. Place the oil in a heavy-based pan with a lid over a medium-high heat and add the sausage meatballs. Brown them all over, then lift out and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium and to the same pan add the onion, carrot and celery, and season; sauté for 10 mins, until soft and beginning to brown.
2 Add garlic and tomato purée and cook, stirring for 2 mins. Next, add the nutmeg, oregano, stock and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 mins.
3 Add the orzo*, spinach and meatballs and simmer for 4 mins, or until the orzo and meatballs are cooked. Remove from the heat, add the cream and remove the bay leaf and check seasoning.
4 Serve in wide bowls, and garnish with herbs and parmesan.
Recipe from Leon Happy Soups by Rebecca Seal and John Vincent (Conran Octopus).