Tomatoes and rice are a famous combination, and are complemented nicely in this soup by white beans, greens, and fresh basil. This hearty Tomato Rice Soup can be a meal all on its own, or serve it with a side of homemade, oil-free corn chips.
For a totally salt-free soup, look for salt-free canned diced tomatoes (see photo below) and salt-free canned beans.
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (2 cups)
6½ cups water
1 can (15 ounces) Navy or white beans, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups)
¾ cup uncooked, long-grain brown rice
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
2 ribs celery, chopped
5 medium cremini or white mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb blend
1½ teaspoons granulated garlic
4 leaves Swiss chard (or other greens), coarsely chopped (2 to 3 cups)
15 large leaves fresh basil, chopped (about 1 cup)
1. Place 1 tablespoon of water into a soup pot on high heat. When the water begins to sputter, add the onion and cook stirring for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions become softened.
2. Add the water, beans, rice, diced tomatoes (including juice), celery, mushrooms, dried Italian herbs, and granulated garlic, and stir. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.
3. Stir in the chard and cook covered for 10 more minutes. Stir in the basil and serve.
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8 (makes about 10 cups)
Dried herbs: If you don’t have a dried Italian herb blend on hand, use a blend of dried oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, sage, and/or parsley.
Greens: Other greens that would be good in this soup are beet greens, collard greens, and kale (see photo below).
Fresh tomatoes: If you’d like to go the fresh tomato route, use 1½ pounds fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped (they can be peeled or unpeeled).
Homemade oil-free corn chips: To make your own oil-free corn chips, cut 6-inch corn tortillas into 6 triangular pieces each and place on a baking sheet (no oil or parchment paper on the baking sheet is necessary). Cook at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Serve immediately (chips will continue to harden as they cool). To learn about buying the healthiest corn tortillas, click here.
Above: These are some of the packaged tomato products that I like and use. Eden crushed tomatoes in the jar are organic and salt-free, and have a smooth, sweet taste (I’ve only found this at Whole Foods and healthy groceries). Pomi brand has a similar taste and contains only tomatoes and no salt (but is not labeled “organic”). The Muir Glen and 365 brands are organic and salt-free. Some are crushed, some are diced, some are chopped; it doesn’t really matter which you use in this recipe. The Pomi and Eden packages above hold about twice as much volume as a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes, so no matter what brand and size you use, just be sure you’re using around 25 to 30 ounces in total for this recipe.
Above: Some commonly used cooking greens. I use Swiss chard in this recipe, a green that has a naturally salty taste to it. But any of the above greens may be used. Chard and beet greens are more delicate than kale and collards greens, and so they cook a bit faster.
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