I tend to come up with ideas for dishes at the weirdest times. When I am driving or in the shower, or I dream about them. Yes my friends, I dream about food. So much so that I have taken to leaving a note pad and pen by my bedside so I can write down my ideas before I forget them. You know how you will have an awesome dream but by the time you get a chance to tell someone you have forgotten most of it? Well I didn't want that to happen with my food ideas.
This night I was dreaming of my Turkey Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Peppers. It is one of the meals I make that the whole entire family loves and requests over and over. But now that it is just the two of us living here, 6 peppers is just way too much, so my mind was evidently searching for a new way to make it. Soup of course popped into my head because well, I just love soup. If I could make a soup out of all of my dishes I probably would!
Once I really looked at my ingredients list I knew that soup was a perfect twist for my stuffed peppers, and boy was I right! Even my non-soup lover, who wrinkles his nose every time I say I making soup for dinner, had to admit he really really liked this soup. It is hearty and flavorful, yet very light. I made a huge batch so we could freeze some for later. Now that I say that I think I will be pulling some out for dinner tonight!
Stuffed Pepper Soup with Turkey Sausage and Orzo
2 tablespoons olive oil2 large sweet bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow), diced
1 (28-ounce) can of chefs cut or diced tomatoes
2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then sliced into half moons
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup orzo (rice shaped pasta)
1 pound turkey sweet Italian sausage ( I used Jennie-O)
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat. Add your peppers, onion and garlic. Cover the pot to sweat the veggies a bit, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Push the veggies to the sides of the pot and add the turkey sausage to the middle, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until there in longer any pink, combine with the cooked veggies.
Add the tomatoes, zucchini, chicken stock, paprika, cayenne, oregano, and thyme. Bring to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. Allow soup to simmer about 20 minutes, then add your orzo. Cook an addition 7 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked al dente.
Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Ladle into soup bowl and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty bread to sop up that yummy broth.