A rustic and wintery minestrone soup made with short-grain whole rice and white beans. This is a hearty, easy, delicious meal that is made with a pantry staples and whatever fresh vegetables you happen to have on hand.
2tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil
2-3small yellow onions,peeled and chopped
1/2a small celery root,peeled and finely diced (ca. 200g piece)
2large carrots,peeled and chopped
2/3cupwholegrain rice(150 g)
a couple sprigs of winter herbs such as thyme or chopped sage
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper,to taste
2x 400g can organic chopped tomatoes
1litre vegetable or chicken broth
1x 400g can organic cannellini or butter beans,drained and rinsed
2cupsbaby spinach(or chopped kale)
2tablespoonschopped fresh parsley
freshly grated parmesanfor serving
In a dutch oven or large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 7-8 minutes.
Add the carrots and celery, cover, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened but are still al dente, about 8 minutes.
Add the rice, garlic, seasonings, tomato paste and salt and cook, stirring until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes, broth, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a light simmer, cover, and cook for 35-40 minutes, until the rice is al dente. Taste the minestrone soup and add more salt to taste, if desired.
Add the beans, and zucchini, cover, and cook until for 3 minutes. Add the spinach, cook until wilted 1 minute (if using kale, add it with the beans and zucchini). Note: I like my zucchini al dente. If you prefer it softer cook longer.
Sprinkle the soup with fresh parsley then ladle into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Serve more on the side to be added as desired. Enjoy!
Feel free to add your favourite vegetables to this minestrone soup or whatever you have on hand. I like to add 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (potatoes, butternut squash, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussel sprout leaves, green beans or peas all work). Root vegetables I add early on, and for the others, they only need a maximum of 10 minutes to cook.
If you have time and plan ahead, dried white beans are the superior choice to canned beans. They need to be soaked overnight and then pre-cooked. I usually make a big batch and use them throughout the week. Or if you are lucky enough to have a pressure cooker you can prepare dried beans the same day.