Sunday, June 26, 2011

Zucchini & Rice Soup: Easy Comfort for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

The day here was gray, breezy and a little drizzly--still warm, but perfect for soup and it called for a simple homey bowl of comfort like this Zucchini & Rice Soup from the "Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special: More Than 275 Recipes for Soups, Stews, Salads & Extras" by The Moosewood Collective." This one gets a lot of flavor from Moosewood's garlic stock and I added a can of cannellini beans--because I love beans in my soup and to make it more substantial.

The Moosewood Collective says, "If you have cooked rice and Garlic Stock on hand, this soup is a snap to prepare. If not, you can cook the rice in a separate pot while you prepare the soup--minus the rice. By the time the soup is prepared, the rice will be tender and ready to stir in. The rice adds body and rounds out the texture of this simple and flavorful soup: we offer a range, so make the soup as thick as you like.

Zucchini & Rice Soup can also be pureed and served as a luscious, smooth soup. Either way, it's perfect for a light lunch or full-course meal when paired with a sharper-tasting salad."

Zucchini & Rice Soup
Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special (pg 59)
(Serves 4-6)

2 cups chopped onions
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped zucchini
6 cups Garlic Stock (see recipe below)
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (2 tsp dried)
salt and ground black pepper -- to taste

1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
chopped fresh parsley (optional)

In a soup pot, saute the onions in the oil on medium-high heat until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the zucchini and saute until just tender, about 4 minutes. Add the stock and cooked rice, cover, and bring to a simmer. Add the fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and gently simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve topped with grated cheese and, if desired, a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

Nutritional Info: Per 12.5-ounce serving: 126 Calories, 4.6 g Protein, 3.8 g Fat, 19.4 g Carbohydrates, 1.4 g Saturated fatty acids, 4 mg Cholesterol, 296 mg Sodium, 1.8 g Total dietary fiber


Garlic Stock
Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special (pg 19)
(Makes about 8 cups)

3 whole heads of garlic cloves
10 cups water
2 or 3 bay leaves
8 whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp salt
2 potatoes, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
2 or 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp dried thyme or 4 fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh parsley sprigs

Remove the loose, papery outer skins of the heads of garlic and break them apart into cloves. (There is no need to peel the cloves.) Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 1 hour.

Strain the stock and use it right away, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 6 months.

Notes/Results: A simple soup with layers of flavor. I made the garlic stock and brown rice (I used the remainder of a bag of brown jasmine rice in my pantry), in the morning and then prepared the soup that evening with some zucchini from the farmers market and herbs from my garden. I do recommend adding the beans to this--they add great texture. You can keep it vegan by leaving off the cheese, but the Parmesan is so good with the other ingredients that it is hard to resist. This hit the spot for a light dinner and I would make it again.

Let's take a look in the Souper Sunday kitchen and see who is here this week.

Janet from The Taste Space made Spicy Indonesian Yam and Peanut Soup and says, "While browsing through Love Soup, I spotted this curious soup: it featured a host of vegetables including carrots, parsnips and yams (yes, I had a monster yam that weighed 900g and even another that weighed 1100g!), flavoured with earthy tones from cumin and garam masala, spiced with garlic, ginger and chili flakes, lightened with sourness from both tamarind and fresh lemon juice, and coming together with a hint of lusciousness from the peanut butter. My mouth is watering as I write this… This soup has a great mix of flavours – warm yet spicy, creamy yet light, zingy and sour. Soups get the shaft in the summer, but I think they are great any time. Share this with friends, because it makes a lot of soup."

Janet also put together this colorful Blueberry Mango Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Basil Dressing. She says, "There is something about meals with mango that makes me want to share the recipe right away. Adapted from Veggie Belly, this is savoury use of fresh mango in a beauty of a salad. Red quinoa is combined with fresh blueberries, chopped mango and dried cranberries and chopped snow peas for crunch. It is then tossed in a subtle lemon-basil dressing and topped with toasted pecans. Nothing is overpowering, nothing screams at you. Everything works well for a simple, yet flavourful salad. A great way to highlight different summer produce in a healthy salad."

Michelle from Ms. Enplace has a dish she says you can enjoy as a soup or a salad, this versatile Goat Cheese & Tomato "Soup" or Salad. Michelle says, "Then there are people like me who take those perfect scoops and stir and stir and stir them until their bowls hold what my brothers and I always called "ice cream soup." It's how I always eat ice cream. And this is also how I like to eat the Goat Cheese & Tomato "Soup" below. You can, however, leave the ingredients in their original form and call it a salad. Your call. I know you'll make the right one."

Carol from There's Always Thyme to Cook has a cold noodle salad to share this week, these Hot and Sour Soba Noodles. She says, "It's very easy and uses a different technique to cook the soba noodles from the other recipe for cold soba noodles that I normally use. Soba is pretty easy to overcook when you don't pay attention to things. That's me, there was that time I served a bowl of mush noodles :) Miss Picky got a little taste while I was making it and then proceeded to eat the dressing by the spoonful. Raved about it. OK, where is my Miss Picky and what did you do with her? She is never that excited by food."

Joanne from Eats Well With Others created a unique take on a classic Italian salad with her Spring Pesto Panzanella. Joanne says, "This panzanella was born of a need to create a dish that could double as a main dish for me and a side dish for my family on Father's Day. While most bread salads are just mixtures of bread and tomatoes, I bulked this up with asparagus, leeks, beans, lettuce, and tomatoes and seasoned it with my favorite flavor of summer - pesto. In the end, the bread cubes soaked in the glorious pesto and tomato juices, becoming deliciously soft bites of heaven with the veggies melting into that flavor burst. The perfect salad for father's day or any other spring/summer afternoon in the sun."

And we have one hearty sandwich this week from Elizabeth at The Law Student's Cookbook, this Red Onion Steak Sandwich. She says, "I rarely make sandwiches. I should more, because they can be SO filling. They can also be really tasty. This sandwich was "all of the above". ...these sandwiches were not neat in the slightest. I mean, I probably could have put less goodies on them, but the filled up aspect of it definitely made this a hearty meal. I don't think it would have been as good if there weren't a few onions and pieces of steal laying on my plate at the end. It was definitely a sandwich that creates an experience, that's for sure."

Such lovely dishes this week--thanks to everyone who joined in. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Thanks for hosting!
    Garlic stock? What? Where has this been all my life? Thanks for sharing.

  2. Your soup looks delicious, I'd love the addition of the beans, and the velvety smooth soup sounds very nice, too. Maybe for company!
    Another nice roundup this week, thanks!

  3. I have a feeling the zucchini explosion is coming so this will be the perfect recipe to have around! That garlic stock sounds delicious!

  4. A short but sweet compilation this week. I like how you added the beans to your soup. If you pureed it, I bet it would be super silky!

  5. Michelle--thanks for joining in. Garlic stock is an amazing thing! ;-)

    Rebecca--thank you!

    Carol--Thanks for joining us this week! ;-)

    Joanne--thanks! It is a great way to use up zucchini. The garlic stock is really good and adds so much depth to the soup. ;-)

    Janet--I am sure it would be great pureed--I was just "feeling" the lighter version. ;-)


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