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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Creamy Tomato Rice Soup with Pesto

For day 24 of Soup Month 2013 we made a creamy Tomato Rice Soup with a swirl of pesto as a garnish.  This Italian tomato soup tasted great with a simple salad and would also be delicious served with a classic grilled cheese sandwich. 

At the end of a cold winter day, there's nothing better than to have a hot bowl of soup waiting at home for you.  So to make this soup even more enticing, it's made in the crock pot.  The preparation of this soup literally takes only 10 minutes using a food processor, and after that the crock pot does all of the cooking for you. 

During the last hour of cooking, make a quick batch of rice, stir it into the soup and you are ready to add a bit of pesto and dinner is ready.   (If you don't have time to make the rice, this soup is delicious on its own.)  A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top is also tasty.   Enjoy!!

1 small  Onion, quartered
2 medium  Carrots, peeled and cut in half
2 stalks  Celery, cut into thirds
14 oz can  Diced Tomatoes
6 oz can  Tomato Paste with Oregano, Garlic and Thyme
1/2 tsp  Oregano
1/2 tsp  Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1-1/2 cups  Water
1-1/2 cups  Chicken Broth  or  Vegetable Broth

3/4 cup  Jasmati Rice (or use your favorite white or brown rice)
1-1/2 cups Water
1 tsp  Kosher Salt

Prepared Pesto for Garnish
Grated Parmesan Cheese for Garnish

In a food processor, shred the onion carrots and celery into coarse pieces, then add them to the crock pot.  Next, add the tomatoes, including the juice from the can, tomato paste, oregano, garlic powder, pepper, water and broth and stir.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.  When you are about ready to serve the soup, and before you add the rice, use an immersion blender to puree the pure to a smooth consistency.  Taste test and add salt or pepper, if needed.  (Since the tomatoes do have some salt, we did not add any additional salt here, so this will depend on your salt preference.)

During the last hour of cooking, prepare the rice.  Place the rice, water and salt in a small pot, cover and reduce heat to low until the water is absorbed.  Stir the cooked rice into the tomato soup and stir, adding a bit more water or broth if you prefer a thinner consistency.

Ladle the soup into bowls and add a spoonful of pesto and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, if desired. 

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