I was never a big fan of soup. My mom served us, and still does, soup almost every day. To my constant "Soup!" remarks, I would get answers such as: "It is good for your tummy!" or "It makes your digestion better!" or "Soup heals!". Little did I believe her statements. Later, when I became a mom (although soup is not a frequent guest on our dinner table) I gave, and still do, the same answers to my children.
BROWN RICE MINESTRONE (feeds 5)
4 medium potatoes, diced
3 large carrots, diced
1/2 cup brown rice, precooked
4 tbsp olive oil
5 cups water
2 tbsp Vegeta (What is Vegeta?; You can find the answer at the bottom of the post)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp olive oil
Precook your brown rice in boiling water with salt. Add rice to water after it starts to boil and let it boil for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside. Brown rice does not have to be fully cooked, for it will continue to cook with the veggies.
While the rice is boiling, peel, wash, and dice potatoes and carrots.
Into a big enough pot pour oil. When oil is hot, turn down to medium heat and add potatoes and carrots. Season with salt, Vegeta, black pepper, paprika, and chili powder. Saute, frequently stirring, for 10 minutes.
Add the brown rice and tomato paste to the pot. Stir, saute for additional 5 minutes, and add the water. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Partially cover, bring the heat down to medium again, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a small skillet make the rue- brown flour seasoned with nutmeg in olive oil. When flour is golden brown, remove from heat, return the minestrone pot to heat again, and add the rue, stirring constantly. Minestrone will become thicker and nuttier in flavor. Boil for additional 5 minutes, remove from heat, add parsley and garlic, and stir. Taste, add salt if needed, and serve.
What is Vegeta?
Vegeta is a condiment which is a mixture of spices and various vegetables invented 1959 by a Bosnian Croat scientist Zlata Bartl, and has become a product sold worldwide. Here in the USA you can find Vegeta in almost all international food stores.
The ingredients of Vegeta include (according to the 2008 product packaging):
- salt max. 56%
- dehydrated vegetables 15.5 % (carott, parsnip, onions, celery, parsley leaves)
- flavour enchansers (monosodium glutamate max. 15%, disodium inosinate)
- riboflavin (for coloring)