Zucchini and Tomato Soup With Arborio Rice
- Servings: 4 to 6.
Many soups take hours of prep and simmering. But this simple yet substantial vegetable soup comes together in less than an hour. Arborio rice is the high starch rice that's used to make risotto, when liquid is gradually added to the rice, cup by cup. In this soup the rice is added all at once and right at the start of the cooking, letting it absorb flavor from the vegetables and broth.
If you leave the soup overnight to serve the next day, the rice will continue to absorb liquid, making the soup thick and almost like risotto.
A soup like like can be eaten either hot or at room temperature. If the soup is hot you can add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan just before serving. If it's at room temperature, a drizzle of good olive oil is a nice finish.
With a loaf of crusty bread and some cheese, this soup is substantial enough to be dinner.
- 1 medium onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium-to-large zucchinis, about 1 pound, cut into 1/2-inch pieces to make about 4 cups
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 grinds freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 red pepper flakes
- 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups) or 2 cups fresh, peeled chopped tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- Optional: freshly grated Parmesan or additional extra virgin olive oil
- In a soup pot or large saucepan, cook the onion over low heat until the onion is softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook another 2 minutes or so until the garlic is fragrant and begins to soften.
- Add the zucchini, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and raise the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini starts to soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, stock, and rice. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the rice is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more red pepper flakes if you want a spicier flavor.
- If serving hot, sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- If serving at room temperature, drizzle a teaspoon or so of good olive oil on each serving.
Can be refrigerated for two days, although expect the rice to absorb more liquid and the soup to thicken to resemble a risotto.
Can be frozen for up to 4 months.