Comforting soup packed with vegetables, rice, and (optional) chicken for the meat eaters at the table.Jump to Recipe
When I get knocked around a little by life, I head to the kitchen to make soup or to bake. I'm convinced that soup, cookies, and cake are the original comfort foods, not just as hugs from my own childhood, but from all the generations of women in my family that cooked in kitchens before me.
I made this soup last week for a friend who was ill, and made it as a chicken soup for her (as reflected in the photo). But I've made it as a vegetarian soup for years.
Soup is truly food for the soul, IMO. For generations, soup has been a way to cook up scraps of vegetables, meat or fish in a broth, and frequently stretched with legumes, pasta, bread, rice or whole grains. Every culture around the world has a soup that's part of their food identity. Ribollita from Italy comes to mind, as does a Hungarian goulash made with meat, potatoes and noodles.
- There’s a bit of prepping to do for this soup, but it comes together quickly, and some prepping can be done ahead, or while the soup simmers on the stove.
- Add 1 ½ cups of cooked chicken for the meat eaters at the table. To save time, I buy a whole roasted chicken at my local market for this soup.
- Other grains can be substituted for the rice. I’ve also made this soup using quinoa with great success.
More Hearty Soups to Love
Another soup with grains is barley soup. My vegetarian barley soup includes some celery, onion and potato, and is brightened with a squeeze of lime and a little fresh mint.
Vegetable Rice Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onions diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 large leek white and light green parts
- 2 large shallots minced
- 1 Serrano chili seeded, minced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 1 small carrot
- 12 cups vegetable broth
- 2 russet potatoes peeled, diced
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅔ cup uncooked rice
- 1 avocado mashed
- 2 limes juiced
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons dry sherry optional
- Warm the olive oil in a heavy, large pot suitable for making soup over medium-high heat. Add the onions, leek, shallots, chili, celery and carrot. Sauté until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes, fresh thyme, salt, pepper, and rice. Simmer for 15 minutes until the rice is cooked.
- Stir in the mashed avocado, lime juice, Parmesan and sherry (optional). Simmer another 5 minutes.
- Serve piping hot in soup bowls with a salad and hunk of crusty bread on the side.