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Cafeteria Plan


  • 1-1/2 cups cooked cannelini or 1 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 8 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 8 ounces mushrooms chopped
  • 8 ounces carrots sliced (about 5)
  • 1 leek chopped*
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups green beans chopped into bite-sized pieces (about an inch long)
  • 1-1/2 cups zucchini chopped (1 or 2 zucchini)
  • 1 pound tomatoes chopped (or 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup whole grain orzo
  • big pinch of saffron threads
  • sea salt and fresh pepper to taste


  • Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add chopped garlic and onion and stir until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add carrots, mushrooms, leek, celery, green beans and zucchini.
  • Bring to boil. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, wine and saffron.
  • Add orzo. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until flavors blend and all vegetables and orzo are tender, about 30 minutes.


* Leeks are lovely, but they’re dirt hogs -- all kinds of grit and such lurk in their multiple layers. A gritty leek is an unhappy-making experience. Best way to wash a leak is to cut it lengthwise, so you have two half-cylinders. Then slice and fan out the layers. Soak in salt water for a few minutes, then rinse a few times until water runs clean.