TOMATO, VEGGIE, HERB AND SPICE SOUP

TOMATO, VEGGIE, HERB AND SPICE SOUP

Served with orzo pasta. Simply made and simply delicious!  Grape leaves, a surprising addition. A soup designed for restaurants!

Makes 32 cups

106 oz. can whole Italian peeled tomatoes in tomato puree with basil leaf; yes, you read it correctly, it’s 106 oz.  (I used San Marzano brand); cut tomatoes into 3rds or 4ths or crush them with hand, while cutting the extra lg. pieces

8 c. water

4 c. peeled, shredded fresh carrot; I used the food processor; use a hand grater if preferred–over med./lg. holes

6 c. shredded green cabbage, using processor, or if by hand, cut into 2 x 1/2 inch shreds, or 1/2 inch squares; I like the shredded look for this soup

1 c. cut sweet red roasted peppers

1 lb. net wt. (dry wt. 10 oz.)  jar grape leaves; the leaves are rolled in the jar; remove them in one piece; separate leaves as you run them under cold water to rinse; re-pile into one stack; cut from top to bottom into 4 separate stacks, then cut each stack crosswise into 1/4 inch wide strips

4 c. fresh carrot juice–no pulp

1 c. orange juice, not made from concentrate (I used orange/ tangerine)

2 T. salt

lots of freshly ground black pepper

2 T. mild curry powder

2 T. dried tarragon, crushed

1 T. dried basil, crushed

1 T. dried mint, crushed

2 T. ground coriander

1 T. onion powder

2 t. garlic powder

1/2 t. ground allspice

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. celery seed

1/2 t. dried thyme, crushed

1/c. light brown sugar

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 c. vegetable oil

1/4 c. transfat-free margarine

additional salt to taste

1 lb. dried orzo pasta

salt

additional oil or margarine

Place all ingredients–except for the orzo–in extra large soup pot. Stir well. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and cook till carrots and grape leaves are tender, and the herbs and spices meld. This is the type of soup that you can cook for one hour or three hours, which makes it a good soup for restaurants that require frequent re-heating.

Bring a pot of liberally salted water to a full boil. Add orzo pasta, stir well and cook till tender. Drain in colander–without rinsing. Transfer to bowl. Add a little oil or margarine and stir to coat.

Ladle a cup of soup into each serving bowl, then scoop a few tablespoons of orzo into each bowl. Serve.

Notes: You don’t want to add the orzo directly to the pot of soup, because it will soak up all the liquid. Again, good for restaurants.

This recipe proves that grape leaves aren’t only for stuffing them with rice. They add a unique texture and flavor to the special combination of tomatoes, veggies, herbs and spices in this soup.

Although designed for restaurants, many grocery stores sell large cans of tomatoes, which home chefs can use to cook in bulk, thus save money and time. Freezes well. Don’t freeze the orzo, though.

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