I am working on a scratch chicken, vegetable orzo soup. I'm not following any particular recipe, just shooting from the hip. I usually come up with a good meal but the problem I always run into though is with gauging how much pasta (or barley or rice) to add to a soup and keep it at all balanced.
Protein and veggies are easy since those ingredients usually do not change in size during cooking but whenever I use a starch that changes in volume while cooking I end up with a soup that is either starch heavy (too much grain or pasta) or starch light (too much veggie and protein in relation to the starch.)
So my basic question is: I have a half cup of dry orzo sitting at the ready. How many cups will that half cup turn into after cooking in soup stock? I am using orzo right now but would also be interested in seeing similar information for other types of pasta and any soup-suitable grains. Any rules of thumb or ideas for different approaches would be appreciated as well.