Ina’s Tomato Orzo Soup With Grilled Cheeses {A Meatless Monday Recipe

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Happy Spring!

Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Tomato Orzo Soup With Grilled Cheeses. Yes, a soup recipe on the first day of spring, because apparently spring sprung in February and winter returned for the month of March.

This morning it is a chilly 30 degrees F. We saw some snow showers yesterday on the mountain and had a fire burning most of the evening. Can someone please tell Old Man Winter he’s drunk and go lay down for a while to sleep it off?!?! 

If you are looking for a really good Meatless Monday recipe to knock off the chill, this recipe for Tomato Orzo Soup With Grilled Cheeses will do the trick! As a huge fan of Ina Garten and a subscriber of The Barefoot Contessa, I received this recipe in an email. As I ran down the ingredient list of Ina’s easy tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons, I only needed to pick up just a few ingredients from the store. The fact that saffron was on the ingredient list made me happy, because I adore this unique spice and I’m always looking for ways to use it. Not only did I love the ingredients, I loved the fact that grilled cheeses were involved. I mean tomato soup and grilled cheese are the absolute perfect comfort food there is! Not to mention, this soup is so easy to make.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Ina’s recipe called for grilled cheese croutons, but I decided to do whole grilled cheeses instead. I felt that the croutons could possibly get a little too soggy if not eaten fast enough and I wanted to be able to control the crispness of the bread. I love crunchy things, so this was a simple judgement call about texture. 

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made with tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, gooey grilled cheeses with melted Gruyère cheese. The perfect comfort food on a chilly day! Here’s how I made it:

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

 Tomato Orzo Soup With Grilled Cheeses | Servings: 6 | Time: 60 Minutes

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
  • Large pinch saffron threads
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup orzo
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Grilled Cheeses (see recipe)

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add in the onions and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Stir in the vegetable broth, tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a large pinch of saffron and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; simmer for 15 minutes.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in salted water, 2 minutes less than what is written on the package instructions. Drain, well and add to the pot of soup.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Stir in heavy cream and return to a simmer. Cook 10 more minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the orzo doesn’t stick.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Serve hot with Grilled Cheeses.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Grilled Cheeses | Servings 6 | Time: 15 Minutes

  • 8-10 (½-inch-thick) slices Italian bread
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated

Directions:

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Place the slices of bread on a cutting board and lightly spread butter (2 tablespoons) with a knife. Turn half of the slices over and sprinkle generously with Gruyère. Place the remaining slices of bread on top of the Gruyère, buttered sides up. 

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Place 1 tablespoon of the butter into the hot pan and place the sandwiches into the preheated pan. Cook until golden and the cheese begins to melt, about 3 to 5 more minutes.

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Flip and cook the other side for an additional 3-5 minutes or until golden and the cheese is completely melted. (Reduce the heat if the toasted start to brown too much before the cheese melts.)

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. | TheMountainKitchen.com

This recipe is so easy to make with simple ingredients. A cozy meal that tastes like it took all day to make.

In the words of Ina: “How easy is that?”.

p.s. Burn a candle next to where you chop onions so you won’t cry! {READ MORE…

 

The following products are ones we love, trust and use here in our mountain kitchen. These products will help make these grilled cheese sandwiches. Just click the image to learn more!

 
         

 

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Tomato Orzo Soup With Grilled Cheeses

This vegetarian version of tomato orzo soup is made of tender pasta in a creamy tomato broth served with buttery, grilled cheeses made of Gruyère cheese. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Author Debbie Spivey

Ingredients

The Soup

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes 28-ounce, hand crushed
  • Large pinch saffron threads
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup orzo
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Grilled Cheeses

  • 8-10 (½-inch-thick) Italian bread sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • 4 ounces Gruyère shredded

Instructions

The Soup

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add in the onions and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the vegetable broth, tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a large pinch of saffron and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the orzo in salted water, 2 minutes less than what is written on the package instructions. Drain, well and add to the pot of soup. Stir in heavy cream and return to a simmer. Cook 10 more minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the orzo doesn't stick.

  4. Serve hot with Grilled Cheeses

Grilled Cheeses

  1. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Place the slices of bread on a cutting board and lightly spread butter (2 tablespoons) with a knife. Turn half of the slices over and sprinkle generously with Gruyère. Place the remaining slices of bread on top of the Gruyère, buttered sides up. 

  2. Place 1 tablespoon of the butter into the hot pan and place the sandwiches into the preheated pan. Cook until golden and the cheese begins to melt, about 3 to 5 more minutes. Flip and cook the other side for an additional 3-5 minutes or until golden and the cheese is completely melted. (Reduce the heat if the toasted start to brown too much before the cheese melts.)

 

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10 thoughts on “Ina’s Tomato Orzo Soup With Grilled Cheeses {A Meatless Monday Recipe

  1. Ina is the best! Her show is like a hug from the TV. Your soup looks delicious, I could really go for that grilled cheese right now.
    And I am so trying the candle trick for the onions 🙂

  2. Hi Donna!
    I know what you mean about Ina’s show, she’s so great!
    The onion trick is my saving grace in the kitchen. My eyes and sinuses cannot take onion fumes. Works like a charm!!
    Debbie

  3. Ina is MY GIRL! Love everyyyyyything about this recipe. Also love that you’re still sharing soup in spring – it’s still freeeezing in my neck of the woods!

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