Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nigella Lawson's Tomato & Rice Soup (With Artichoke Hearts & Fresh Basil): Almost a Complete Cheat for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Back to a warm soup this week but one that takes so little effort, it is just about cheating. I was looking for tomato soups both to fill a craving and to cook with tomatoes for our theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week and realized that between a combination of hot and humid weather, a busy week and some not-so-great breathing, I just didn't feel like chopping and cooking. This variation of Rice and Tomato Soup from Nigella Lawson is the perfect solution.  

Basically you dilute a good jarred pasta or tomato sauce with water and toss in some rice and that's it. Of course I felt slightly guilt about it being so easy, so I used homemade garlic broth from the freezer in place of most of the water and tossed in a can of quartered artichoke hearts from the pantry. I also had some brown basmati rice cooked in the rice cooker and some fresh basil, but that was it--and in about 10 minutes of cooking and flavor-blending time, a warm bowl of hearty tomato soup was ready to eat. It doesn't get much easier than that. 

Rice and Tomato Soup
By Nigella Lawson via Food Network
(Serves 4)

1 jar good tomato sauce
3 cups water, plus more if needed (I used 3 cups homemade garlic broth + 1 cup water)
1 cup basmati rice (I used 2 cups cooked brown basmati rice)
(I added 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained)
Parmesan cheese, grated (optional) (I used fresh basil)

Nigella says, "I like to make an unfussy rice and tomato soup (for myself, too, sometimes, especially when I'm trying to balance out my characteristic gluttony) by diluting a good, bought tomato sauce with water, adding a handful or so of basmati rice, and cooking until the rice is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. With children it makes more sense to leave the soup fairly solid, but you can add water from a boiled kettle toward the end of cooking time if you want a thinner soup rather than liquid tomato-rice stew. Grate Parmesan on top and eat - with bibs."

Notes/Results: I'm not going to tell you that this compares to my best homemade tomato soup but for opening a jar, a can and tossing in cooked rice, it is a tasty substitute when you just can bring yourself to make an effort--and it tastes much better than the tomato soup in the can. Of course your soup flavor is dependent on the quality and flavor of the jarred sauce that you use, so pick one you like. I used a roasted garlic tomato sauce, and with it and the added garlic broth, my soup had plenty of flavor. Even better if you make and freeze or jar your own tomato sauce but I wasn't that planful. You could substitute the rice with pasta and toss in beans for a minestrone version, or put whatever add-ins you like. Fast and simple, I will happily make it again.

I'm linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs this week where our Monthly Featured Ingredient/Dish Challenge is Tomatoes--any recipes using tomatoes from our current featured chef or any of our past IHCC featured chefs.

We have some delicious dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Janet of The Taste Space is back at Souper Sundays this week with No Mayo Coleslaw. She says, "I wanted a simple coleslaw and this one delivered. The dressing reminded me of the first bean salad I ever made. I recall hunting down celery seeds when I moved away for university because I made mixed bean salads often. This salad makes a lot, but it also keeps really well. It travels well for a picnic but also packs up nicely for lunches throughout the week. Classic."

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen shared Zucchini-Courgette Orzo Pasta Salad and said, "There is nothing fancy about this Orzo Pasta Salad, though I must admit it is quite colourful.It was made last week for the working week, again making the most of my Zucchini aka courgettes growing in my garden, this time the stripy kind called Courgette Squash Striato di Napoli." 

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made Tomato, Cucumber and Feta Salad and said, "Loved this quick little meal and it's so pretty.  Lots of colorful vegetables. Also, it was fairly quick to put together and this makes it a good weekday/workday meal. A side dish was a cucumber, tomato and feta salad.  Another quick fix.  This recipe I borrowed from Beth Fish Reads, check it out HERE.  My version isn't as pretty but the salad was very good."

Debra of Eliot's Eats shared Veggie Salad with Berbere and said, "There’s an Ethiopian restaruant in Denver that we go to every summer when we’re there visiting the nieces. It’s kind of in a sketchy part of town. It’s in a seen-better-days strip mall. The sign out front has faded to oblivion. It takes almost an hour to get your food (definitely made from scratch). They’re kind of grumpy. We go every year. It’s that good. On our last trip, we had a delicious cold salad on our platter that reminded me almost of a tabouli. After some research, I found it it was probably a Timatim Salad. An authentic timatim has shredded injera which is probably what I mistook for a type of grain. ... I used a fresh cucumber, tomatoes, and jalapenos from our garden for this one."

 Mahalo to everyone who joined in Souper Sundays this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy healthy week!


  1. Great delicious looking soup! I like Nigella's recipe and this has to be a good one! Thanks!

  2. I think we all need some great cheat recipes like this stored away for busy and hectic weeks! This recipe has Nigella's name written all over it. With your garlic broth and garlic sauce, this one had to be a winner!

    Love Tina's salad with all that yummy feta cheese, but then I am into anything with feta:)

  3. Deb,
    I'm very intrigued that you can use a jar of sauce as a base for this soup. It doesn't get much easier than that. I haven't felt like cooking, so I might give this a try since I love tomato soup.

  4. I love this! I'm all for opening the pantry and pulling a meal together. What's the point of stocking a pantry otherwise?

  5. I love tomato soups, this sounds really fast and simple

  6. I dont mind making cooking a little easier sometimes, especially when we are rushing for time or do not have the mood to be in the kitchen for hours! Your soup looks delicious, I can see why you would want to make it again!


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