By Nancy Smorch
The other night, while Mike and Lindsey were out of town, I wanted to make something that would warm up Frankie and me on such a cold fall day.
In searching for warm and satisfying, I thought I would modify a typical Minestrone Soup recipe by adding some extra fall vegetables. In the past I would have added some form of pasta, but I thought I would try adding rice instead. It was delicious and just what Frankie and I needed to warm us up. One of the added benefits was that we had lots left over for snacks the next couple of days!
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, peeled and diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots sliced thin (if they’re not organic, peel them)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
6 or 7 small red potatoes chopped (if they’re not organic, peel them)
1/2 fennel bulb thinly sliced
1 stalk celery chopped
1 cup green beans, trimmed and chopped
2 - 28 oz. cans of tomatoes (plum tomatoes are best - unless you’re lucky enough to have canned some tomatoes over the summer!)
4 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 15 oz. can of either organic navy beans or butter beans, drained
4 cups cooked rice
Sea salt and pepper to taste (Maldon’s Sea Salt is best!)
Pour the olive oil in a large heated sauce pan on medium. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, sweet potato, potatoes, fennel, celery, and green beans.
Saute for about 5 -10 minutes until the onions have started to brown. Add the 2 cans of tomatoes, vegetable broth, water, and salt and pepper to taste. Once everything begins to boil, turn the heat down to low to simmer.
Cover the pan and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are done to your liking - stirring every now and then.
Meanwhile in a separate sauce pan, begin making the rice - you can choose whichever rice is your favorite - basmati, jasmine, risotto, brown, long grain). Follow the package instructions for you rice so you have 4 cups cooked.
When the stew is done to your liking, spoon it into a bowl and put 1/4 to 1/2 cup rice in and mix together (doing it separately allows those who don’t want rice to eat their stew without it).
You’ll probably have leftover rice, which is good. That way you can use it the next morning for an egg tortilla or to saute along with some potatoes, garlic, kale, and broccoli (which is what we did for lunch the next day)!