Spicy Sicilian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup
A cozy creamy tomato soup cooked with Sicilian fennel sausage, spinach and orzo.
This Spicy Sicilian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup is the perfect winter warmer! Spicy, fragrant and comforting it is everything you want from a soup. Inspired by Sicilan fennel sausage this soup is damn delicious! The combinations in this soup are a match made in heaven that are guaranteed to become your new family favourite.
The inspiration for this recipe came in November 2019, after spending way too much money on lunch in Nusa (which I highly recommend if you work in the city when we eventually go back).
I was not a big soup fan until I started working in the city and found myself trying lots of different soups. I became inspired to add a couple of soups to my work lunch meal prep and this Spicy Sicilian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup was born. This soup is perfect for a winter work lunch and great for soup lovers who like a kick!
If you are a soup lover, check out my other favourite winter soup recipe Creamy Chicken, Mushroom and Carrot Soup.
What is the Inspiration behind this Soup?
The first time I went to the supermarket in Sicily with my mother and we picked up some sausages it was much to our surprise that they contained fennel seeds! Yes, fennel seeds. Italy is famous for sausages and similar to the UK you will find different types all over the country with varying shapes, sizes and seasoning – in Sicily this is the signature sausage. It was a pleasant but shocking surprise, as many of you will know sausages are also big in the UK and we have all sorts of varieties on offer but none include fennel seeds.
These sausages are just delicious! Fennel and pork are so complimentary to each other. The sausages are perfect roasted, braised or in pasta dishes and soups! I always make sure to bring some back home with me after a visit.It was the final packet I had left in my freezer that inspired this recipe.
If you want to use authentic Sicilian sausages for this recipe you can buy them from Salsicciamo. They sell delicious authentic Italian sausage made fresh in the UK, check them out! Alternatively, you can use a classic British pork sausage and follow the recipe card below.
What is Orzo?
Orzo is a rice sized pasta perfect for soups. Orzo is the Italian word for barley because of its resemblance to the raw grain. In traditional Italian cooking Orzo is classified in the group “pastina” and is commonly used in broths, soups, salads and sides. It is also popular in Greece, known as “krithiraki“. Lots of other European nations also use the ingredient. My favourite pasta brand is Garofalo you can buy the orzo I used for this recipe here.
What Do I Need?
- Orzo – you want to go for pasta that is made using 100% superior quality durum wheat semolina.
- Passata – I love to use passata in lots of my recipes to ensure I have a nice smooth sauce with no unwanted bits. Waitrose organic passata is actually pretty reasonably priced.
- If you can find them, Golden blush (yellow) tomatoes are sweet and fruity and provide the soup with sweetness and a beautiful contrast of colours.
- Onions, garlic, chilli and spinach. I like to use 1 whole scotch bonnet which is a super hot chilli – if you like milder spice I would opt for a classic red chilli or use only a slice or 2 of the scotch bonnet.
- Cream – this recipe calls for a splash of single cream at the end!
- Oregano, fennel seeds and basil. I use dried oregano and fresh basil for this recipe.
Tips & Tricks
- Stir stir stir! When cooking orzo in a sauce or soup do ensure you stir every 5 minutes! Orzo does have a tendency to stick!
- If you don’t have fennel sausage, you can use plain pork sausage and add fennel seeds while cooking. See recipe method below. Always choose a sausage with a minimum of 95% pork.
- Spinach shrinks A LOT, if you are not used to cooking it and feel you are putting too much, don’t worry you’re not.
- If using the scotch bonnet use a knife and fork to cut the chilli and remove and discard of the seeds. Wash your hands after handling hot chilli’s – trust me you dont want to rub your eyes accidentally!
Orzo Soup Serving Suggestions –
Try this Orzo Soup with some warm crusty bread, it’s also really nice with garlic bread! I hope you enjoy this cozy Spicy Sicilian Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Soup – any questions please do comment, I would love to help!
heavy base deep pot
- 2 tinned tomatoes or passata
- 6 pork sausages
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 300 g spinach
- 1 cup orzo
- 1/2 cup golden (yellow) tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 4 garlic
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/2 scotch bonnet
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
Dice the onion into small cubes, mince the garlic and halve the tomatoes. If you are not using passata blend your tinned tomatoes for a smoother soup.
Remove sausage from casing into the pan in chunks. Stir and separate sausage into small chunks. Fry until browned and slightly crispy then make a space in the middle of the pot to add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Leave to cook for 3 minutes then stir gently in the centre for a further 3 minutes before mixing entire pot to distribute the mix.
Add the halved tomatoes and half the fennel seeds. Cook for 3-6 minutes mixing from time to time.
Now add the chilli, tinned tomatoes, stock, herbs, spices and stir and cover. Leave to come to the boil then turn down to medium and cook for further 5 minutes.
Add orzo stir and cover and turn temp to low/medium.
Stir every 5 minutes to ensure orzo doesn’t stick to bottom. Remove any stuck noodles with spoon. Do this for 10-15 minutes then taste sauce and check orzo if unsure.
Add cream now if using and then stir in the spinach. Cover for 2 minutes and its ready to serve!
- Be sure to stir the orzo every 5 minutes to ensure it does not stick!
- When frying the onion and garlic turn the heat to low to ensure no burning.
- Use a variety of cherry tomatoes for flavour and colour.
Did you make this Orzo Soup recipe?
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m here to help! If you loved this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment and rating below! Let me know how it turned out for you and share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at @chilliandlife and hashtag it #chilliandlife ! I’ll be sure to share it!