Turkish Vegetable Soup with Orzo

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Turkish Vegetable Soup with Orzo (Şehriyeli Sebze Çorbası)

This delicious vegetarian soup, Sehriyeli Sebze Corbasi, is easy, delicious and wholesome. Orzo pasta or “sehriye” as we call it in Turkish fits in this soup very well, thickens the broth beautifully and makes it substantial. Being a lemon fan, I give a generous squeeze, with plenty of red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper over the soup for a delicious heat, when serving. You can also crumble some feta cheese over the top before serving if you’d like too. For a gluten-free option, you can use rice instead of orzo pasta.
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (red, yellow or green), deseeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped in small pieces
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 180 gr / 6¼ oz / 1 full cup orzo pasta
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 400 gr / 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tbsp. double concentrated tomato puree
  • 1.2 litres / 2 pints hot water or vegetable stock
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp. Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes
  • Extra wedges of lemon to serve
  • Crusty bread or pide bread to serve

1First Step

Heat the olive oil in a heavy, wide sauce pan and add the onions, peppers and carrots. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes, they will start to soften up.

2Second Step

Pour in the hot water or vegetable stock. Also pour in the chopped canned tomatoes and the tomato puree, stir well. Cover and bring to to the boil.

3Third Step

Stir the pot and cover again, cook for 10 minutes at medium to low heat.

4Fourth Step

Then add the orzo pasta, season with salt and ground black pepper and combine well. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes at medium to low heat, stirring occasionally.

5Fifth Step

Once the orzo pasta is cooked, stir in the parsley, pour in the lemon juice and combine well. Check the seasoning and add more salt and ground black pepper, if needed. Turn the heat off.

6Sixth Step

Serve hot with Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes over the soup, with extra wedges of lemon and crusty bread by the side. Afiyet Olsun.
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