Beef orzo soup

Total Time
20 min
5 min
15 min
Orzo has many meanings in Italy. It is the Italian word for barley, but also a hot, caffeine-free barley beverage that is served as a coffee substitute in Italian cafes. To make things even more confusing, it is most commonly a reference to the tiny, barley-shaped pasta (also called risoni) that is regularly cooked in soups, forms the base of pasta salads, or used as a rice substitute. Traditionally, orzo is made from high-protein semolina flour, which is milled from durum wheat. However, there are gluten-free options available on the market too. To save time here, buy packaged sliced mushrooms for less prep.



1 medium, chopped

Uncooked lean ground beef

¾ pound(s), (5% or less fat)

Cremini mushroom

3 cup(s), sliced, thinly sliced fresh or white mushrooms

Dried thyme

1½ tsp

Dried sage

1 tsp, rubbed

Canned beef broth

4 cup(s), low sodium

Uncooked orzo

¾ cup(s)

Uncooked Swiss chard

11 oz, (1 bunch) stemmed and chopped

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

tsp, freshly ground


  1. Spray a large nonstick saucepan with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme and sage; cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the broth, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the orzo, Swiss chard, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, about 8 minutes. Yields 1 1/2 cups per serving.