Spring Minestrone with Brown Rice

sping-soup

A perfect soup for this time of the year. As the weather gets warmer and we start wearing less clothes, we start {or continue} eating lighter. And speaking of light, I’ve started going to the farmers’ market every week. In my town, the farmers’ market starts at 6 pm on Thursday nights. I’ve been remiss in attending mostly because it’s been cold and dark. Now that we have changed the clocks back an hour and the sun is staying up, I’ve been going every week.

All the vegetables in this soup were bought at the farmers’ market and were all picked that day and used that night. Isn’t that cool? The recipe comes from Super Natural Cooking, is vegan, and is very easy to make, especially if you already have vegetable stock on hand.  It’s also the cover recipe. 🙂 I added more vegetables and garlic because that’s always a good thing.

Spring Minestrone with Brown Rice

From Super Natural Cooking
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup of brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half diagonally
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup of peas
  • Fine grain sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice and stir, coating the rice, about a minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat,  and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until just tender.
  2. Add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve immediately so vegetables stay nice and green.

Serves 4

Creamy Wehani Rice Soup with Sweet Potato Croutons

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If you want a warm, creamy soup then this is the soup for you. It also happens to be vegan, but you can’t tell. It gets it’s creaminess from coconut milk. The  recipe–Creamy Wild Rice Soup with Sweet Potato Croutons–comes from Super Natural Cooking and originally calls for wild rice.

I’m not a fan of wild rice and debated about using it. While at the health food store bulk bin section, I noticed Wehani rice right next to the wild rice. I decided to sub out the wild rice with Wehani. I’ve never had it before, but it looked like it had a hearty exterior like wild rice and would be a good substitution. Cooked Wehani has a pleasant nutty flavor and I can’t wait to use it again. It’s a brown rice because it still has its bran, but because it has a sturdier exterior (which pops open like wild rice when cooked) it has bit more crunch than regular brown rice.

Wehani Rice from gourmetsleuth.com

Wehani Rice from gourmetsleuth.com

The flavor base of the soup comes from onions, garlic, and shallots sautéed in coconut oil and red curry paste. The sweet potato croutons are made just like you would make home fries with a regular potato. Diced sweet potatoes are sautéed in coconut oil with a pinch of salt until nice and toasty on all sides.

Creamy Wehani Rice Soup with Sweet Potato Croutons

Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking

Note: The orginal recipe uses wild rice and cooks for approximately 40 minutes. Also it calls for an additional cup of water added to the soup when the coconut milk is added. I like thicker soups, therefore I did not add it. I also used Sriracha as condiment, well, because I add it to everything. I’m addicted. 😛

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Wehani rice, rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 orange-fleshed sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 teaspoons ground tumeric
  • 1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon shoyu sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • Squeeze of lime juice, to taste
  • Fine grain sea salt, to taste

1. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in heavy-bottom soup pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, shallot, onion, and red curry paste. Sauté until onions begin to soften, making sure red curry paste is evenly distributed. Add rice and give a quick stir to coat the rice. Add water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for approximately 30 minutes until the rice is cooked. When done, the Wehani will split a bit and be slightly chewy with a bit of a crunch.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the sweet potatoes. Heat remaining tablespoon of coconut oil in large skillet. Add sweet potatoes and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat and cook for a few minutes until they begin to get some color. Toss repeatedly until all sides are brown and crunchy. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt. Remove potatoes from pan onto a paper towel and set aside.

3. When rice is done, add tumeric, sugar, shoyu sauce, coconut milk, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir, return to simmer, and cook for 5 minutes or so for flavors to meld. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.  Season to taste with salt.