Tomato Minestrone

It’s been a rough week at our house. I came down with a nasty spring cold on Tuesday, and it pretty much put me out of commission for the rest of the week. I finally made it in to work on Friday, but only for a half-day before I needed to return home to my bed.

I woke up this morning feeling a little better, and by noon, I had the full use back of one nostril and one ear – progress! And, I found that my appetite had returned as well, so I decided to get right back in the kitchen and whip up some healthy soup to aid my recovery.

I’m calling this soup “Tomato Minestrone,” but of course there are no noodles in this version, and I’m using aborio rice instead. The inspiration for the recipe came from a recipe in the New York Times, but I’ve added to it a bit. Also note, that if you want to make this to store for the week, that you should cook the rice separately…I didn’t read the note until after I made the soup, so it looks like I’ll be eating some very thick soup this week, since the rice will soak up all the broth from the soup. Oh well – it’ll still taste great.

The finished soup is packed with flavor, and full of healthy vegetables, and I will happily take this to work with me this week for a healthy lunch.

Tomato Minestrone
Serves 7
3 Weight Watchers Points per serving

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 T fresh rosemary, minced
1 T fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
2 T tomato paste
2 14oz cans diced tomatoes (I used 1 Muir Glenn Fire Roasted tomatoes, 1 Fire Roasted w/ Chipotles)
2 cups water
2 cups chicken or veg stock
2 cups tomato juice (or more water)
3/4 cup aborio or carnaroli rice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir together until fragrant, about one minute. Add the canned tomatoes with their liquid, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat and are fragrant.
  2. Add the tomato juice, water, tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in the rice, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rice is tender. Add salt to taste and freshly ground pepper. Stir in the parsley. Serve, garnishing each bowl with freshly grated parmesan.

Advance preparation: You can make this soup a day ahead, but the rice will continue to soften and absorb liquid. If you do make it ahead, add the rice when you reheat the soup, and then simmer until it’s cooked.

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