Curried vegetable brown rice soup

As much as I love to eat out, I do have some limits that I hit eventually, and sometimes it does feel really good to just stay at home and eat a simple bowl of soup with some fruit for dessert.   I pre-emptively knew this would be the case when I came back from my two weeks of vacation in Italy followed by mass amounts of drinking/eating in Melbourne, so the weekend before I left, I made a huge batch of this soup and put in the freezer for my return.  It was amazing to come back on Sunday and have this soup waiting for me.  It’s originally from a mulligatawny soup (a traditional Indian soup) recipe that includes chopped chicken or lamb and adds cream at the end, but I have completely modified it to make it really healthy and vegetarian.

Apologies for complete lack of prep pictures on this one, as it was made before I started this blog (take this as proof that it freezes really well).  The recipe is super easy and it’s great to make a big batch and freeze it for times of need, especially if you like curry flavours!

Curried vegetable brown rice soup

This makes quite a big batch – probably at least 6 servings, so it’s easy enough to halve the recipe.  I just always end up making a big batch so I can use up all the celery I buy.

Ingredients

1-1.5 cups cooked brown rice

Bunch of celery, diced (when I buy celery it typically comes it quite a big bunch, so it would be at least 10 little stalks of celery)

4-5 medium carrots, diced (you want roughly equal amounts of carrot and celery, so adjust accordingly)

3 medium onions (can be yellow or red)

1 medium apple, peeled and chopped (preferably Granny Smith or a similarly tart one)

1 T flour

1 tsp tumeric

1 tsp cumin

If you don’t have either of the above spices, 2 tsp of curry powder will do – or also feel free to mix in curry powder with the spices above.  You basically just want 2ish teaspoons of Indian spices.

3-4 bay leaves

Several cups of vegetable or chicken stock

First, prepare your rice according to directions on whatever type of rice you have.  I like a soup that has more veggies and rice so I just use 1 cup of cooked rice, but you could definitely use more or even go up to 2 cups.

While the rice is cooking, prepare all the veggies by peeling, deconstructing, chopping, etc.  I recommend distraction in the form of a TV show, playlist, or conversation with a friend while doing this as it can get tedious.  When I make a big batch of this, the dicing typically takes about 20 minutes.  Peel and dice the apple separately, as you’ll add it later.

Put the carrots, celery, and onion into a large soup pot sprayed with nonstick spray, turn it up to high heat, and stir for a 2-3 minutes on that setting.  If they start to really stick to the pot, add a splash of veggie/chicken stock.  After about 5 minutes, add in your dry ingredients (flour and spices) and stir to coat.  After 2 minutes more, add in the veggie/chicken stock all at once and then the bay leaves.  The amount of stock is totally up to you – I typically use enough to cover the veggies but not a lot more.  The flour makes the soup thicken and I find it is not very liquidy at all, so if you like a more liquid soup, definitely add more stock.

Let the soup simmer on low heat for at least 20 minutes.  If it’s boiling/bubbling a lot, turn the heat down more or add more stock as you just want a nice simmer.  When it’s simmered for about 15 minutes, add the apples in and taste the celery/carrots to determine how much they’ve cooked.  Wait about 3-5 minutes after adding the apple in to add the cooked rice, and let it simmer a bit more.  The great thing about this soup is you really can’t mess it up by cooking it too long…I mean don’t leave it on the stove for hours by accident, but an extra 5-10 minutes won’t hurt it.

Remove the bay leaves, and season to taste if you feel necessary with salt or pepper.  When you like the taste and texture of the veggies, it’s done!

This soup is great immediately or keeps for days in the fridge and weeks in the freezer.  The ingredient list is ridiculously easy and it tastes far better than you may think for such a simple list of ingredients!

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