Tomato Orzo Soup

This hearty, zesty soup is basically like a hug in a bowl and just tastes so good on a chilly day. It freezes well and tasted just as good the day after it's prepared. This recipe makes 6 servings.

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, diced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 cup orzo pasta
1/2 pound chorizo or Italian sausage
Salt and black pepper, to taste

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage or chorizo and onion; cook for 7 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and cook for 4 minutes more.

Add broth, crushed tomatoes, dried oregano and season with salt and pepper. Let the soup come to a boil and add the orzo. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally so the pasta doesn't clump.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.