Beans and Rice Italian Minestrone Soup

Beans and Rice Minestrone Soup

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.

black rice

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.

Mise en place

Beans and Rice Italian Minestrone


  • -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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


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1 Comment

  • Reply
    December 14, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Frozen locks are no fun. The one for my mom’s garage used to freeze, without fail, every cold day. And in NYC..that’s a lot of days!!

    Soup is the just the thing to take the edge off this weather! This looks so comforting!

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