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Mediterranean Shrimp Soup

8 oz Sea Scallops, side muscles removed (optional)

Salt and black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

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 low-sodium broth (vegetable or chicken)

3 large tomatoes, diced (canned diced tomato will work as well)

1 cup orzo pasta (whole wheat pasta preferred)

6 oz baby spinach

1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 cup chopped fresh dill, stems removed

1 lemon, juice of

Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

If using scallops, pat them dry and season with salt and pepper.

In a cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Gently add the sea scallops. Sear for about 1 ½ 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.

To the same cast iron skillet, add a little more extra virgin olive oil if needed. Again heat over medium-high until shimmering but not smoking. Add the shrimp; sear for about 2 minutes on both sides. You want to see some pink, but don't worry about fully cooking it (you will finish cooking it in the soup.) Remove from the heat and sprinkle a generous pinch of dried oregano.

In a medium heavy cooking pot, heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin 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.

Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add the diced tomatoes. Cook on medium-high for 3-5 more minutes.

When the liquid returns to a boil, add the orzo pasta. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 8 minutes until orzo is tender.

Stir in the baby spinach, parsley, dill, and lemon juice.

Finally, stir in the scallops and shrimp to warm through (about 1 to 2 minutes.) Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Add crushed red pepper flakes for some heat, if you like. Serve with your favorite crusty bread.

Total Time: 35 min



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