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Saturday, February 08, 2014

Recipe: Tomato Rice Soup

This recipe is easily halved, but for our family, this is how much I make. I can make this in a hurry if I either have pre-cooked rice or leftovers from another meal. I slice the onions while the pot is heating, I add the oil and onions, then slice the carrots and celery while the onions are cooking at first, then chop the garlic while they cook, and so on, reducing the amount of total time it takes in my preparations.

1/2 cup olive oil
2 large onions, sliced thinly
4 large stalks of celery, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
2 medium carrots, scraped and sliced thinly
6 cloves of garlic, minced
12 large tomatoes, roughly chopped, juice reserved
8 cups vegetable broth or bean broth (I save the pot liquor from cooking beans and freeze it to use later as a vegetarian stock)
8 cups water (you can use all water, too)
4 cups cooked rice
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (you can use red pepper flakes or ancho pepper flakes instead)
1/4 teaspoon saffron
finely chopped parsley to garnish

Heat a soup pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil and swirl in the bottom of the pot to coat. Add onions, celery, carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the onions are just starting to turn brown. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Put tomatoes with their juice into the pot along with a small amount of the broth, maybe a quarter of it. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to reduce the liquid in the tomatoes and concentrate the flavor.

Add the rest of the broth and water, the rice, salt, thyme, Aleppo pepper and saffron, breaking up the rice in the pot. Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. Taste to adjust seasonings.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

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