Yesterday, I put sweatpants over my tights, stuffed my hat inside my helmet, and zipped my coat up above my upper lip. Boots on, I braved the 20 degree weather that waited for me on my 2-wheel ride to work. Morning wake-up call at its best.
This was not, however, before tackling a stubborn frozen bike lock. Running late, I waddled my layered self back up to my apartment to grab a cup of hot water. Luckily, I discovered, that would do the trick. Anyone else ever have this problem with their lock in the winter?
Ten frozen fingers later, I successfully made it to work. Good thing I forgot a change of shoes. I love rocking winter boots with tights and a dress, and all the funny looks that elicits. One of those days.
I’ve expressed before, winter’s not my favorite. But making soup is. There’s something about mindlessly throwing a bunch of ingredients in a pan, and knowing that meddling their flavors will produce guaranteed results. Soup-making is pure simplicity. And brings the warmth that I crave after bike rides home from work.
This, I tell you, is one warming bowl of soup. Beans, rice and a kick of spice, it’s like bringing a thermal to the dinner table. Serve with a slice of crusty bread and a glass of wine, and you’ll be good to go.
- -1/2 cup dry black rice (+ 2 cups water)
- -3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- -4 cloves garlic, minced
- -1 large onion, diced
- -3 stalks celery, diced
- -2 medium carrots, sliced
- -2 small-medium, red-skinned potatoes, chopped
- -1 jalapeño, minced
- -3 Tbsp. fresh thyme (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
- -3 Tbsp. fresh basil (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
- -1 tsp. dried oregano
- -3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- -1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- -1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans
- -1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans
- -1 1/2 quarts of veggie broth, or more to your preference
- -Salt and pepper, to taste
- -Cheddar or Parmesan, optional
- Place rice and water in a medium pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until rice begins to tender but is still slightly uncooked. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in large saute pan. Add garlic, onion, celery, carrots, potatoes and jalapeño. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add thyme and oregano. Season generously with salt. Cook another 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
- Stir in tomato paste and basil. Add beans, broth and black rice, and bring to a low simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes and rice are tender. Serve, topped with shredded cheese, if desired.