Tomato brown rice soup features a classic pair of ingredients that just made for each other. Swapping in brown rice for the usual white rice makes a comfort soup classic even heartier and more wholesome.
You can use any variety of brown rice you might have on hand — long, medium, short grain, or Basmati. That said, I like medium or short grain for soup, as these cook to a more tender texture.
Choosing sun-dried tomatoes: This is a soup filled with mild ingredients, so do take advantage of the one “flavor bomb” in the list — the sun-dried tomatoes. Oil-cured dried tomatoes have the most intense flavor, in my opinion, but a fresh, moist oil-free version works well. Don’t use anything really dried out, as it won’t add much flavor; even with the slow cooking time, desiccated tomatoes may contribute a leathery texture that doesn’t do much for the mouth feel of the soup.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large celery stalks, diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (try fire-roasted)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (see note)
- 3/4 cup raw brown rice, any variety, rinsed
- 1 large or 2 regular vegetable bouillon cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning blend (like Mrs. Dash)
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or leaves from several sprigs fresh thyme (reserve sprigs for garnish)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
- Add all the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat and cover. Simmer gently for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until the rice is tender.
- If the soup is too thick, adjust the consistency with more water as needed, and return to a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at once, or if time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for an hour or so then heat through before serving. This soup thickens quite a bit as it stands. Add water and adjust the seasonings as needed.
- If using fresh thyme, garnish each serving with a sprig or two.
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Here are lots more vegan soups & stews.