Homemade Tomato Rice Soup

Winter is soup time. When the chill seems to seep in through the windows and under the doors, its time to think about a warm bowl of soup. This recipe is great for a light lunch, or as the start to a more hearty dinner.

I really love soup. Somehow, I just feel healthier eating homemade fare like this. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  • 1 c. long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 c. chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1/2 t. basil (fresh is best, but dried works too)
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 c. fat-free half and half (warmed to room temperature)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Combine the rice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes (alternate, but not quite as tasty, prepare 2 servings of Minute Rice). Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

Drain the can of diced tomatoes through a mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Press the tomatoes against the edge to juice completely. Set tomato juice aside. Now, place the diced tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Add onion, garlic, basil and olive oil. Strip the rosemary leaves from the stem and add. Season with salt and pepper. Broil in the oven on a high heat setting for 4 minutes - do not place too close to the heat!

Remove from the oven and carefully place into a blender or food processor. Add reserved tomato juice. Puree until smooth.

Finally, add tomato mixture to rice, then tomato sauce, chicken broth and balsamic vinegar. Heat well. Stir in half and half before serving.

This recipe makes 4-6 servings, depending on how deep your soup bowls are. Like any warm fare, you might want to serve with crusty rolls or french bread. Fresh, sweet, softened butter makes the meal. The beauty of soup is that it can fill you up, without weighing you down. You can count on not being hungry an hour or two later after enjoying homemade tomato rice soup.

I almost don't want winter to end.

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