I have some leftover rice from yesterday and I hate to waste it. Normally, I’d make puffy rice balls, deep-fried, to go with a yummy dip. But this is not the case today. My husband’s health issues require as little fat as possible, and deep-fried rice balls, vegan or not, would be just wrong. My love for soups takes over, and since I cannot find any recipe to satisfy my fancy, I am back at work, developing this bowl of delicious tummy pleaser for my family.
I am beginning by chopping onion, celery, carrot, and parsley. I dice, chop, and grate them as small as I can. Although I will use an immersion blender when the veggies are cooked, I find this method saves a lot of time. It makes the carrot boil faster, and the onion soft in no time. This is also the moment when I add my mix of dried Cretan herbs because the hot oil helps release their flavors from the very start. Oh, and I only use one teaspoon of homemade olive oil, because too much olive oil is never good for you. Well, unless you bathe in it to soften your skin.
I think this will be a delicious concoction. There’s no reason for it to be a failure: it has all our favorite ingredients. And it’s a soup. Do you remember the health benefits of this dish? Many of them are listed here.
When the onion, carrot, celery, and parsley sprigs are soft enough, I add the frozen veggies and my rice, plus enough water to cover them all. I am not measuring. I trust my gut. I’ve been cooking since childhood (I was about ten years old when my grandma allowed me to cook alone for the first time).
Because cream soups need cream a lot of times, my choice is almost always coconut milk. It’s creamy, silky, tasty enough to replace any kind of animal-fat based creams. Believe me, coconut milk is so good, you will never miss its four-legged-produced alternatives.
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 150 ml coconut milk
- 1 tsp. dried Cretan herbs mix
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- bunch of leftover sprigs of parsley (make sure they are thin and fresh) diced
- half and half leftover cooked riced and frozen soup vegetables (usually carrots, peas, potatoes, lima beans, etc.)
- salt and pepper to taste
- hot water
- Using a non-stick soup pan, broil the fresh ingredients: onion, carrot, celery, and parsley in one teaspoon of olive oil.
- Stir often and add a ladle of water to prevent the first ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Keep on ladling water until all fresh veggies are nice and soft (about 10 minutes)
- Pour in the rice and the mix frozen vegetables, top with water, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender (or a food processor), puree the soup until creamy smooth.
- Return to the stove, add coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Decorate and serve hot.
And the soup is done. Nothing glamorous so far – I hate not being able to stage my photos, but I also think they look more honest than the photoshopped images you find on other food blogs. It’s my cream of veggies and rice soup, which, apparently, tasted amazing, because my boys asked for seconds.
So, whenever you are in the mood for a soup, drop by. I promise to keep them coming.