Prince George has some seriously cold winter days. I’m still not totally used to this whole freezing-temperatures-every-day-for-months winter thing. My brain can’t quite comprehend when they tell me it’s going to be –31 degrees C plus wind chill. Sure it’s sunny, but there ain’t no way I’m spending more than 5 minutes out there if I don’t have to. What can I say, I’m a born and bred Vancouverite! On these uber-cold winter days, I’d rather stay inside, bundled in some comfy pyjamas, sipping on some tea, with a big pot of soup simmering on the stove.
One particular day I found myself craving a good hearty vegetable soup. I had some leftover brown rice from dinner the night before, and I thought, gee, I haven’t had a good tomato rice soup in a long time. Yes, as much as I don’t like tomatoes, I do enjoy a good tomato soup. What can I say, I’m have complex tastes. Anyways, since I knew this was going to be dinner, I wanted to turn it into a full meal, so I cooked up some navy beans, and rummaged through the fridge to see what vegetables I had on hand. That’s the great thing about soup – you can customize it based on what you have in your pantry/fridge/freezer. There’s no right or wrong way to make a good soup, especially a vegetable soup.
I kept it simple with classic mirepoix (carrots, onions, and celery), a few spices, and threw in some kale for colour and a dose of bone-building leafy green goodness. Because the beans and rice were already cooked, the soup came together in less than 30 minutes (including chopping the vegetables). It was a delicious warming bowl full of colours, textures, and vegetable goodness. The beans and rice made for a filling, hearty dish – a perfect way to nourish your body and warm up your soul on a cold winter evening.
Tomato, White Bean and Rice Soup
makes 8 – 10 servings
You’ll forget all about the frigid temperatures outside when you dig into this hearty vegetarian soup. Beans, rice, and plenty of veggies will keep your body and soul nourished and happy. Pairs perfectly with crusty bread, a glass of your favourite wine, and a good movie on a cold winter’s night.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
- 1 large can (796 mL) no salt added crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups cooked navy beans (or 1 – 540 mL can, drained and rinsed)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery, and sauté until soft, 2-3 minutes.
2. Add in kale, tomatoes, navy beans, vegetable stock, basil, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Allow to simmer for 15 min.
3. Add brown rice and season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer another 5 minutes, just until rice is heated. Enjoy!
Note: Feel free to add any other vegetables you have on hand. You can’t go wrong when it comes to soup.
How are you keeping warm this winter?