MEDITERRANEAN SHRIMP ORZO SOUP


INGREDIENTS
  • 8 oz Sea Scallops, side muscles removed (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1½ lb Prawns Or Large Shrimp of choice
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano, divided
  • 7 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced (canned diced tomato will work as well)
  • 1 cup orzo pasta (whole grain pasta preferred)
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill, stems removed
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, gently add the sea scallops. Sear for about 1½ minutes on each side. Scallops should form a golden brown crust. Sprinkle a large pinch of dried oregano. Transfer to a dish and set aside for now.
  3. To the same cast iron skillet, add a little more oil if needed. Once oil is heated, add the shrimp. Sear on both sides until pink. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle a generous pinch of dried oregano.
  4. In a medium heavy cooking pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium-high. Add the chopped peppers, onions, garlic, tomato paste, salt and the remaining dried oregano. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add the diced tomatoes. Cook on medium-high for 3-5 more minutes.
  6. When the liquid returns to a boil, add the orzo pasta. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 8 minutes until the orzo is tender.
  7. Stir in the baby spinach, parsley, dill, and lemon juice.
  8. Finally, add in the cooked scallops and shrimp. Cook very briefly until everything is warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Add crushed red pepper flakes for some heat, if you like. Serve with your favorite crusty bread.