This recipe made itself one night when I was scouring my fridge and pantry for the makings of a quick meal. Experiment with the solid and liquid ingredients so you get the soupiness or stewiness to your liking. You can throw just about anything into the pot and it will be delicious! I'm not much for measuring, so use your best judgement with proportions and seasonings, and don't forget to taste along the way. Garnish with cilantro and sour cream or plain yogurt.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
30 mins
50 mins
5 bowls


Original recipe yields 5 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook and stir sausage in the hot saucepan until it starts to release its fat, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cumin; cook until onion is soft, another 5 minutes. Drain and discard grease if there is a lot of fat in the pan, or pat dry with paper towels.

  • Add chicken broth to the saucepan; bring to a boil. Add orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 9 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add tomatoes, corn, black beans, spinach, and chile pepper. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt.

Cook's Notes:

You can use spicy Italian sausage in place of chorizo, and other mini pastas like stars, alphabet, or couscous instead of orzo.

Frozen corn kernels can be substituted for fresh, and you can use frozen spinach, too--just be sure it's thawed and drained well before adding it to the soup.

Using less spicy ingredients (like low-sodium broth or plain ground sausage) will work but you may need to kick up the seasoning a bit!

Nutrition Facts

319 calories; protein 16g; carbohydrates 23.2g; fat 18.3g; cholesterol 42.4mg; sodium 1159.7mg. Full Nutrition