A thick, fragrant, big flavor vegetable bean soup with orzo pasta. Hearty like a chili!

Makes 18-1/2 cups

3 T. corn oil

4-6 sm. yellow onions, diced into ½ inch squares

4 c. fresh cut green cabbage, ¾ inch squares

1 t. salt

2, 14.5 oz. cans sliced carrots including liquid

15 oz. can red kidney beans including liquid

2, 15 oz. cans chili beans

15 oz. can Sloppy Joe Sauce (I used Dei Fratelli) plus 3 cans water

14.5 oz. can cut green beans including liquid

16 oz. bag froz. corn

2 t. garlic powder

2 t. onion powder

2 T. mild Hungarian paprika

2 T. ground coriander

2 T. (India) ground fennel

1 T. dried basil

½ t. dried oregano

½ t. ground allspice

¼ t. dried thyme

¼ t. red cayenne pepper

¼ t. celery seed

2 t. liquid smoke

4 T. brown sugar

1 T. Balsamic vinegar

2-3 T. margarine

2 t. salt

lots of freshly ground black pepper

½ c. dried orzo pasta

In extra large soup pot, over medium-high heat, combine oil, onion, cabbage and salt. Saute till charred and wilted.

Empty 2 cans of carrots into blender container and blend till smooth. Add to sautéed vegetables. Stir.

Add to pot, kidney beans, chili beans, sloppy Joe sauce plus water. Stir well, dissolving and scraping char from bottom of pot into the soup.

Add frozen corn, stir till broken apart.

Add remaining ingredients, except orzo. Stir well, partially cover and cook at a very soft boil for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to make sure it isn’t boiling rapidly.

Cook orzo in salted boiling water till tender. Drain and add to soup just before you serve it. Adjust for salt.

Notes: Sloppy Joe Sauce isn’t just for meat dishes. It works well when incorporated into tomato sauces and soups.

For extra richness, substitute extra virgin olive oil for the corn oil and margarine.

The carrot puree adds flavor and thickness.

Leftover soup will thicken considerably with the orzo in it. Thin with a little water if you like. However, it won’t thicken to the detriment of the soup as many other pastas would make it do when stored overnight. Orzo is unique in this way, thus a good pasta to use for soups when you’re making a pot load and need to store it with the pasta in it. We also don’t use much orzo.

When making a thinner-broth soup, however, the orzo will absorb a lot of the liquid. Other pastas will absorb the liquid whether a thin broth or a thicker sauce-like broth is used. Three days later I’m still eating this soup for breakfast and I’m still loving it. I didn’t add liquid to the leftovers.

Locate India fennel at Penzies Spices. If you can’t find it, use the Italian variety.


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