Enjoy this Italian Vegetable Bean Soup with Herbs and Rice. The soup turns out rich, healthy and full of bright colors. You will enjoy all the tapestry of flavors. This recipe is versatile so you can use your favorite fresh vegetables that are in season or whatever you have on hand
Use vegetables that are in season or use whatever vegetables you prefer or have on hand. Just try to keep your ingredients as organic as possible. If you substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock then it can also make a great vegetarian or vegan dish.
This delicious Vegetable Soup recipe, comments, and photo was shared with my by Karen Calanchini, Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA.
Italian Vegetable Soup with Herbs and Rice Recipe:
Italian Vegetable Soup with Herbs and Rice Recipe
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery with leaves, sliced
8 baby carrots, scrubbed, and sliced*
6 to 8 cloves garlic, diced
2 (16-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
6 cups Chicken Stock**
4 cups tomato juice
1 (16-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 (16-ounce) can red kidney beans (white kidney beans may also be used), drained and rinsed
2 fresh bay leaves (dried is fine)
6 small zucchini squash or 2 medium, sliced
2 cups fresh spinach, washed
1/3 cup uncooked long grain white rice
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 teaspoon of good-quality Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh basil leaves (torn into pieces), to taste
Coarse or sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon each of dried oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, and sweet paprika
* I prefer to use the thinner baby carrots, usually found at the Farmer’s Markets or the organic section of your grocery store. They are sweeter and do not need to be peeled (a quick scrubbing is all they need). Usually they come with the carrot tops intact.
** Learn how easy it is to make homemade Chicken Stock - Basic Chicken Stock.
Heat a large Dutch Oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Sprinkle with a little salt. Sautefor 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, stock, tomato juice, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and bay leaves. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
Add spinach and rice, and return just to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add peas, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, salt, and pepper and heat thoroughly.
Remove bay leaves before serving. Garnish with a thyme spring or more fresh basil.