Orzo-White Bean “Stoup” with Kale

Christina from Fork You. No, Fork You! posted a photo on Instagram of her lunch a few weeks ago – she called it ‘stoup’. Though I’d never heard the word stoup, I knew she had not accidentally added a ‘T’ to soup. She was referring to a dish that was neither stew nor soup. Stoup.

I like my soup like I like my ice cream, chockablock full of goodness - the more ‘stuff’ in there the better. I don’t want to go digging for it! I like pureed soups so thick you can stand a spoon up in the bowl, I like soups so thick with goodies you hardly notice the liquid. So the stoup concept appealed to me. It was like finally learning the name of an old friend you’ve known your whole life.

One chilly evening a few weeks back, I came home from work hungry, cold, and depleted, in need of comfort that only a stoup can provide. I had orzo, a can of white beans, and some languishing produce in the fridge and made this Orzo-White Bean “Stoup” with Kale in about 20 minutes. We sat in silence, savoring each spoonful. It had everything: the flavor and comfort of chicken noodle soup and the filling, sticks-to-your-sides quality of a classic stew, and we knew we’d be making variations of this stoup all winter long.

Orzo-White Bean “Stoup” with Kale
Serves 2 to 3

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, cut into small dice
1 carrot, cut into small dice
1 celery stalk, cut into small dice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup orzo
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 can white beans, drained
6 packed cups washed, stemmed and chopped kale

Heat oil in a large saucepan or a small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in rosemary and orzo to coat; add broth and beans and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and continue to cook until orzo is tender and mixture is a stew-like consistency, about 4 minutes longer. Stir in kale, cook until just wilted, a minute or 2 longer. Serve.