As much as I love this time of year for our cold, crisp days and clear blue sky, it also means another thing: colds, coughs, sneezing, sore throats, repeat (three or four times!). Each time our family gets a cold, I want to do one thing: make a comforting pot of soup. Doing this usually takes some planning, but with this simple recipe for Hearty Pinto Bean-Rice Soup from The Old Farmer's Almanac, making a delicious, comforting and healthy meal was practically effortless...and made for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.
I've modified the recipe to make it heartier - the more protein, the better, with vegetarian dishes.
Hearty Pinto Bean-Rice Soup
2 T. canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups water + 4 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup brown rice
4 cups cooked pinto beans
1 large carrot, quartered and chopped
2 cups (1 jar) pasta sauce (I used a jarred Puttanesca sauce)
1/2 cup of each: frozen green beans, frozen (previously chopped) zucchini, frozen corn
2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
1 T. basil, dried
1 T. thyme, dried
Place oil into a large pot and add onion and garlic. Saute over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add rice; bring to a boil for 1 minute, then simmer for about 30 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Bring to a slow boil. Lower heat to simmer and cover pot. Simmer for 1 hour (or longer. Longer is better!).
We enjoyed ours topped with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese and a dash of soy sauce (to add some yummy umami) and some homemade cornbread.
We were so hungry that I forgot to take photos...but it was a beautiful, hearty soup that kept the whole family coming back for more. Enjoy!