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Mushroom Orzo and Stout Soup

Mushroom Stout Orzo Soup_ Have I told you about the time I made a complete spectacle of myself on an international flight?

It all started after I missed my perviously scheduled flight out of Spain, which is another story that involves churros and a bull fighting poster, and found myself in the middle of a sold out Madrid without a bed for the evening. Every room was booked, even those large mixed dorms that make you want to sleep fully clothed with your valuables tethered to your leg.

I was able to find a room about three blocks from Plaza Mayor in the home of an elderly couple that spoke no English. After a few weeks in Spain my Spanish language skills had risen to the level of a demented toddler and I was able to communicate Tarzan style enough to pay for the windowless converted closet and obtain a set of keys.

After spending the next few hours fighting with the airline I was safely booked on a flight the next day and happily wandering the afternoon streets near the Prado. I wandered into a bookstore looking for something that would keep me occupied on a 17 hour flight. The only English language book I could find was Tuesdays with Morrie. Fine, I’ll take it.

That night I hardly slept. I was so nervous about missing my mid-day flight that I woke up every hour to check the clock. Finally at 5am I gave up. I packed my bags, left my keys on the overly polished dining table and headed for the two trains that would take me to the airport.

Many hours and cups of strong coffee later I was settled into my aisle seat on a jam-packed jumbo jet headed for LAX. Exhausted but unable to sleep (remember I told you I sleep as well as a homeless prostitute?) I pulled out the book. Only minutes in I started to cry, half hour later I was sobbing. Not just pretty girls tears,but hysterical, ugly, snot and weird noises sobbing. People started staring.

I put the book down, pulled myself together, but couldn’t stop reading. This continued for most of the flight. Read, become so hysterical I can’t see over my own tears, feel like a crazy person, put the book down, repeat. A few rows ahead of me a girl flagged down a flight attendant and said, "Ummm…I think there is something wrong with that girl."

A few minutes later the flight attendant comes by, says nothing, sets down a plate of food: a small baguette, some cheese and a small bowl of soup. She pulls a package of Kleenex out of her pocket and sets it down. She leaves very quickly without a word. I felt ridiculous, but comforted. Soup and carbs seems to do the trick.

January, a historically hideous month in my personal life, calls for some comfort food.  Bring it on January, I have soup and carbs. Mushroom Stout Orzo Soup 2

Mushroom Orzo and Stout Soup


  • 1 sweet white onion sliced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 8 wt oz sliced crimini mushrooms about 2 ½ cups
  • 3 wt ounces shitake mushrooms about 2 cups
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 12 ounces oatmeal stout
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste


  • In a pot over medium heat add the onions, olive oil and butter, cook stirring occasionally until onions have caramelized, about 20 minutes (do not let the heat get too high or the onions will burn before they caramelize).
  • Add both kinds of mushrooms and sage, cooking until the mushrooms have softened and darkened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the stout and stock, simmer for fifteen minutes.
  • Add the orzo and black pepper, cooking until orzo is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Salt to taste.

I use my Dutch oven all the time, it’s essential in my kitchen.

Mushroom Stout Orzo Soup 3

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Paula – bell’alimento January 10, 2014 um 10:50 am

This soup sounds amazing! I love mushrooms and added them to as many dishes as possible. Great recipe!


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 10, 2014 um 3:05 pm

I absolutely looooove mushroom soup and am in total love with the orzo and stout in this! Great idea!


samantha January 10, 2014 um 5:24 pm

This soup sounds absolutely divine! And perfect for the subzero temps we seem to be stuck in here in the Midwest. Thank you!


P ~ The Saucy Southerner January 11, 2014 um 3:06 am

That looks and sounds absolutely fabulous! P~


Adrienne January 11, 2014 um 10:42 am

Looks so good! What brand beer did you use


al January 11, 2014 um 2:11 pm

I used Velvet Merlin by Firestone Walker, super easy to find here in LA.


Tam January 11, 2014 um 4:36 pm

Why has no one commented on your wonderful story that preceded the recipe? I loved the story!


Jackie January 11, 2014 um 4:56 pm

Thank you! I always wonder if people read the intros 🙂


Jeff January 11, 2014 um 7:12 pm

Nice story and the soup sounds great. What’s the portion size and how many does the recipe serve?


Jackie January 11, 2014 um 7:45 pm

It serves 4-6


Kabe January 14, 2014 um 5:22 pm

Great recipe! I upped the stock to 4 cups, omitted the orzo and used a bottle of Founder’s Breakfast Stout. I also used an extra tbsp of olive oil and threw a little bit of cornstarch slurry in so it was a tad thicker. This is FABULOUS … and sans-orzo, came out to less than an amazing 128 calories a cup!


Jackie January 14, 2014 um 6:35 pm

Thats awesome! So glad you liked it. And your changes sound delicious.


SallyBR January 23, 2014 um 2:06 pm

Loved it! Let me just say I found your blog today and subscribed to it after a few minutes browsing. I need another food blog to read like I need a third eye, so consider yourself highly praised!

I remember reading Tuesdays with Morrie on a trip to California, and cried so much that next day my eyes were swollen – when you first mentioned it, I said to myself "Not a good book to read on a plane", but had no idea it would turn into such a fantastic personal tale.. 😉

soup is awesome too, and honestly, I could use a large bowl tonight…

Very nice to "meet" you!


Jackie January 23, 2014 um 4:25 pm

Thank you! Yeah, not the best choice of reading material when you are sleep deprived and locked in a metal tube with 200 strangers!


Justine@CookingandBeer February 10, 2014 um 10:13 am

We made your soup this weekend (and used Breckenridge’s Oatmeal Stout), and it was fantastic! I also just picked up your cookbook. I’m just starting to delve into cooking with beer, and you are such an inspiration! Thanks for all of the great recipes!


Jackie February 10, 2014 um 10:26 am

Thank you so much!


erika April 3, 2014 um 8:16 pm

Made this for St. Paddy’s Day and used Guiness Black Stout and it turned out pretty good. I can’t wait to try this using an oatmeal stout. I had no idea how to use shitake mushrooms and left those chewy stems on. LOL! Still a keeper… even my little girl loved the soup, which says a lot because if she had it her way, it would be green beans, ravioli and ice cream every meal.


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