This recipe originally came from my great-grandmother, who brought it from Italy. My grandmother used to serve this as a first course at Thanksgiving dinner. I have modified the recipe a little over the years, but it is still a favorite in my family. It is a super fast meal idea for a quick, hearty dinner. (Vegetarian recipe)
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
6 cups water
2 – 3 vegetarian bouillon cubes (Knorr, if possible)
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 cup brown lentils
2 cups fresh, chopped spinach or 1 package frozen chopped spinach
1 cup orzo pasta
Fresh ground pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, sauté sliced onion and garlic in olive oil until they just start to brown. Add water, bouillon and Worcestershire sauce to pot. Bring to a boil and lower to simmer.
Add the lentils to the pot and stir well. Cook for 10 minutes. Add spinach and orzo to pot and cook for 25 minutes or until orzo is al dente.
Serve with crusty French bread. You can also sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese for a wonderful flavor addition.
NOTE: If you make a pot of this soup and refrigerate it overnight, it will thicken up substantially and be almost ‘stew-like’ in consistency. I like to take leftovers of this soup for lunch.