This recipe for Slow Cooker Oxtail Orzo Soup makes a hearty, scrumptious, dish that’s flavorful and packed full of tender meat that just melts in your mouth.
Oxtail is a great value cut of meat and it’s particularly delicious when slow-cooked in this crock-pot dish that’s ideal for low-fuss family dinners. It’s a tender, flavorful cut of meat that’s, in my book, totally unappreciated.
I know we’re just a week into April, so a soup may not be something you’d be expecting, but it snowed over our Easter weekend where I am so this was perfect for coming in after building our snowman!
Every bite of this Slow Cooker Oxtail Orzo Soup made me feel satisfied and nourished. It’s light, bright, and packed with veggies, tender meat, and filling pasta. If you love a slow cooker beef recipe, why not try my Slow Cooker Beef Brisket Soup or Slow Cooker Beef & Ale with Mushrooms. These will warm you up no end!
This soup will fill and warm you to your core, without weighing you down, and the leftovers are just as tasty as the bowl you eat the day you make it.
I know a lot of people like slow cooker recipes that you just dump all the ingredients together and walk away. I’d like that too, but I have to say that some extra steps need to be taken for the sake of extra flavor and are totally worth the trouble.
I brown the meat as well as the garlic before dumping the ingredients together.
If you’re short on time and need to cut one, I’d say brown the garlic instead of the meat as the extra bit of flavor really makes a difference. That said, I don’t recommend cutting either step.
Here’s how to make this beautiful soup:
In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat; add the oxtail to the pan and brown on each side for 2-3 minutes.
Transfer the oxtail to the slow cooker. In the same pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil a brown the garlic for about 30 seconds.
Transfer to the slow cooker with the oxtail followed by the carrots, onion and celery to the slow cooker.
Add crushed tomatoes.
Add beef stock and tomato paste.
Tie the parsley and bay leaves together and add to the slow cooker. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours, or until the meat falls away from the bone. Remove oxtail from the slow cooker.
Strip the meat from the bones and return to the slow cooker, discarding the bones and excess fat.
Add the orzo, turn the heat to high and let cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve and enjoy.
Other Soup Recipes You’ll Love
- If you can’t find oxtail, you can use meaty beef shanks as an alternative.
- If the oxtail doesn’t have a lot of meat, you can add cubes of stew meat as well as the oxtail (the bones add a lot of flavor).
- This soup is easily frozen, but if you plan to freeze, do it before adding the pasta. Freeze in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Then you can defrost and cook the orzo separately.
- Variation: Add 3 large potatoes, cut into cubes with the other vegetables instead of orzo for a hearty, beef vegetable soup.
- Variation: Add the potatoes as described above and at the end mix 2 tablespoons of flour to 1/4 cup of cold water, mix until smooth, add to the soup and bring to a boil to thicken and make a stew.
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Let's Make Slow Cooker Oxtail Orzo Soup
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 pounds of oxtail or meaty beef shanks
- 4 medium carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 1 can (14-ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup warm water
- 6 cups beef stock
- A good handful fresh parsley
- 2 dried bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup orzo
- In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the oxtail, add to the pan and brown on each side for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the oxtail to the slow cooker.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil a brown the garlic for about 30 seconds and then transfer to the slow cooker with the oxtail.
- Add the carrots, onion, and celery to the slow cooker along with the crushed tomatoes.
- Mix the tomato paste with the water until combined and add the slow cooker along with the beef stock.
- Tie the parsley and bay leaves together and add to the slow cooker. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until the meat falls away from the bone.
- Remove oxtail from the slow cooker. Strip the meat from the bones and return to the slow cooker, discarding the bones and excess fat.
- Add the orzo, turn the heat to high and let cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve and enjoy.