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Monday, December 16, 2013

Italian Arborio Rice and White Bean Soup

Because it's cold.  And I'm broke.  And I love soup.

I'm at that point again that I'm trying to scrape by on the food I have in the house and not buy groceries until absolutely, positively necessary.  Actually, this is one of the best ways to get creative with cooking!

I knew it was time for soup again.  Let's face it, it's always time for soup.  I wanted something creamy, but didn't want to have to buy any additional ingredients.  That's where the arborio rice comes in.  Luckily, I had some left over from the risotto that I made for Thanksgiving.  The rice cooks down into a dreamy, creamy consistency that is just lovely.  The veggies, beans, and spices were things I had on-hand already.  Feel free to change up the veggies as you wish.

This soup is a simple, delicious, one-pot meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes.  Aw, yeah.  That's what I'm talkin' about!

1   Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
6 cups vegetable broth (To reduce sodium, you can replace 2 cups of broth with 2 cups of water)
3/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
10 oz bag frozen veggies (I used broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
2 cups packed baby spinach

 In a large soup pot, heat olive oil on medium heat.  Add garlic and saute for about a minute.  Add the rice and cook about 2 minutes, stirring to cover the rice with the oil.  Add in the vegetable broth and the basil, thyme, and oregano, and stir to combine.  Increase the heat to bring to a boil.  Decrease heat to medium and cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, until rice is soft.
When rice is cooked through, add the beans and veggies, and cook for 7-10 minutes or until heated through.  Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.  Serve hot.

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