Domatosoupa Me Kritharaki is a flavorful tomato soup with pasta. It is packed with vegetables and has a bit of creaminess from the addition of Greek yogurt. Make sure to have some bread around to sop up the remains in the bowl. I had actually never tried orzo until I started blogging. It is such a great little pasta. Orzo is a short cut pasta that looks like over-sized rice. It translates to barley in Italian and is sometimes referred to as rosa marina (slightly thinner than orzo), manestra, or Kritharaki. Orzo is common in many cuisines throughout the Mediterranean. This dense little pasta is perfect for pilafs, salads, and soups/stews. It was also perfect for Evan when he was younger. I prepared dishes using it often when he was teething or just for practice with utensils.
I used fresh tomatoes since they are in season right now, but you can also use canned diced tomatoes.
Domatosoupa Me Kritharaki (Greek Tomato Soup with Orzo)
Adapted from Lemon and Olives
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
2 3/4 pounds fresh diced tomatoes (or 3 15 ounce cans)
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 teaspoon honey (Greek if available)
1/4 cup fresh basil
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
Grated cheese for serving (Kefalotyri or Parmesan)
1 cup cooked Orzo pasta
In a large pot, drizzle olive oil over medium heat. Once thoroughly heated, add the onion, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the bay leaves, then diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Once the liquid begins to simmer, stir in honey, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove bay leaves, then puree the soup using an immersion or stand blender until smooth. If using a stand blender, carefully transfer the soup back to the pot after blending.
Mix in the Greek yogurt until incorporated, then add the cooked orzo pasta.
Serve immediately with grated cheese.