Savoring a spoonful of Tomato Rice Soup Recipe, a medley of tart, sweet, and hearty notes cascade over your taste buds. Each sip brings warmth and a comforting echo of homely kitchens.
This wholesome dish, rich in healthful ingredients, provides nourishment that transcends mere sustenance.
A rich red broth brimming with plump grains of rice—it’s more than just a meal; it’s a culinary journey. From Italian nonnas stirring simmering pots to the bustling street markets of Asia, this versatile comfort food tells a global story.
Unearth the secret tales hidden within this timeless classic, and join us on a flavorful voyage.
What Is Tomato Rice Soup?
Tomato rice soup is a classic, comforting dish consisting of ripe tomatoes, wholesome rice, and a blend of aromatic herbs. Its origins span the globe, from Italy’s rustic kitchens to Asia’s vibrant markets.
The soup is known for its hearty, satisfying qualities, blending the tangy-sweetness of tomatoes with the wholesome graininess of rice.
Often enriched with vegetables, meats, or beans, it’s a versatile dish adaptable to personal taste or dietary needs. A perfect recipe to enjoy year-round, it’s particularly beloved in cooler seasons.
History Of Tomato Rice Soup Recipe
The history of tomato rice soup is as varied and rich as its flavor. Tracing its origins, we land in disparate corners of the globe. It likely emerged as a practical combination of readily available ingredients in Italy, becoming a staple in rustic kitchens.
Meanwhile, in Asia, particularly in China, it’s a comforting classic, with rice serving as a staple grain. The soup’s simplicity and versatility allowed it to travel, adapting to regional tastes and local ingredients.
Today, it’s a beloved comfort food worldwide, its incarnations as diverse as the cultures that have embraced and nurtured it.
Interesting Facts About Tomato Rice Soup Recipe
- Versatility: Tomato rice soup is globally loved due to its ability to incorporate various regional flavors. You can find versions with a Latin flair, utilizing black beans and cilantro or an Asian twist with soy sauce and tofu.
- Nutritional Value: This soup is a nutritional powerhouse. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C and packed with antioxidants, especially lycopene, while rice provides energy and dietary fiber.
- Ancient Grain: Although we often associate rice with Asian cuisine, it has been cultivated globally for over 5,000 years, making it one of the oldest known foods still widely consumed today.
- Soup for the Seasons: Despite being a go-to comfort food for chilly days, tomato rice soup can be served chilled, making it a refreshing summer dish in countries like Spain with their Gazpacho.
- A Symbol of Hospitality: In many cultures, soup is considered a symbol of hospitality and warmth. Offering guests a bowl of tomato rice soup is a universal way of saying, “You’re welcome here.”
What Makes Tomato Rice Soup Special?
What truly sets tomato rice soup apart is its delightful simplicity and comforting depth of flavor.
Each spoonful combines the tangy freshness of tomatoes with the filling, nutty substance of rice – a delicious balancing act that intrigues your palate.
But its magic goes beyond taste. Its versatility is unparalleled, seamlessly adapting to various regional twists, dietary needs, and personal preferences.
It’s a dish that’s as at home in a high-end restaurant as it is simmering on a humble kitchen stove.
Furthermore, tomato rice soup boasts nutritional value. The tomatoes pack a punch of vitamins and antioxidants, while the rice adds a satisfyingly strong element that’s also a great energy source.
It’s a meal that feeds the body as much as it nourishes the soul.
|Celery stalks, chopped
|Carrot, finely chopped
|Uncooked long-grain rice
|Diced tomatoes (canned)
|1 (29 ounce) can
|Fresh basil, chopped
- Tomatoes: Choose ripe, juicy tomatoes for the best flavor. Fresh is always the best, but canned tomatoes (especially San Marzano) are a great substitute if they’re out of season.
- Rice: Choose a type of rice based on the texture you want. Long-grain rice like Basmati keeps its shape well, while short-grain rice like Arborio can make the soup creamier.
- Broth: Homemade broth can take your soup to another level. However, if using store-bought, use low sodium to control the salt level better.
- Herbs and Spices: Fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, or thyme will add a depth of flavor. Don’t be afraid to experiment with spices either; a pinch of smoked paprika or cayenne can add a nice kick.
- Vegetables: For a heartier soup, add in veggies like carrots, celery, or bell peppers. Saute them with your onions for a flavorful base.
Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?
- Protein Boost: Add chicken, turkey, or tofu for a protein-packed soup. If you prefer seafood, shrimp can also be a delicious addition.
- Veggie Delight: You can add a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach to increase the soup’s nutritional profile and enhance its flavor.
- Creamy Version: If you want a creamy, luxurious soup, add a heavy cream or spoonful of Greek yogurt.
- Spicy Twist: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, add some chopped jalapeños, a pinch of cayenne pepper, or even some hot sauce.
- Cultural Variations: Adapt the recipe to reflect different culinary traditions. Add curry powder for an Indian twist, chorizo for a Spanish version, or coconut milk for a Thai-inspired take.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic, and sauté until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the diced tomatoes (with their juice) to the pot and stir well. Cook for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Pour in the vegetable or chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the rice, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and tender.
- Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. You can add more salt, pepper, or dried herbs according to your preference.
- Once the rice is cooked, remove the soup from heat. Allow it to cool slightly before serving.
- Ladle the tomato rice soup into bowls. If desired, garnish with fresh basil leaves for added flavor and presentation.
Variations, Add-Ons, And Topping
- Curry Tomato Rice Soup: Incorporate curry powder for a delightful Indian flair.
- Creamy Tomato Rice Soup: Add heavy cream or coconut milk splash for a smooth texture.
- Mexican Style: Add corn, black beans, and jalapeno for a Mexican touch. You can even use cilantro-lime rice instead of plain rice.
- Italian Style: Stir in Italian seasoning and use Arborio rice for a risotto-like consistency.
- Protein: Add shredded chicken, ground turkey, tofu, or chickpeas for an extra protein boost.
- Vegetables: Enhance your soup with veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, kale, or spinach.
- Legumes: Lentils or beans make a hearty addition.
- Grains: Try quinoa, farro, or barley as an alternative to rice.
- Cheese: A sprinkle of Parmesan, cheddar, or feta adds a savory touch.
- Herbs: Fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or thyme provide freshness.
- Spice: A dash of hot sauce, red pepper flakes, or black pepper adds a nice kick.
- Creaminess: A dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream contrasts the soup’s tanginess.
- Crunch: Croutons or toasted pumpkin seeds give a delightful texture contrast.
Scaling The Recipe
You can easily scale the tomato rice soup recipe based on your needs.
- If you want to make a larger batch, simply double or triple the quantities of each ingredient. This will ensure that you have enough soup to serve a larger group or to enjoy leftovers.
- If you’re cooking for fewer people or want a smaller portion, you can halve or reduce the quantities accordingly. Scaling the recipe allows you to adapt it to your specific requirements, whether hosting a gathering or simply cooking for yourself.
What Is Used For Garnishing?
- Fresh Herbs: Basil, parsley, or dill add a pop of color and a new, vibrant flavor.
- Cheese: A sprinkle of grated Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, or crumbled feta adds a delicious savory note.
- Cream: A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt provides a cool, creamy contrast to the soup’s tanginess.
- Seeds or Nuts: A sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or slivered almonds offers a pleasing crunch.
- Spices: Dusting smoked paprika, black pepper, or red pepper flakes can give a hint of heat and enhance the soup’s color.
Can I Make The Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot
- Add all your ingredients, except the rice and dairy (if using), into your slow cooker. This includes tomatoes, broth, onions, garlic, herbs and spices.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- If you’re using whole tomatoes, try to blend your soup at this point for a smoother consistency. An immersion blender works great, but be careful with the hot soup.
- Add your rice during the last 2 hours of cooking on low or the previous hour on high.
- If you’re adding dairy, stir it in just before serving.
- Use the sauté function on your Instant Pot to cook any onions, garlic, or veggies you’re using until they’re softened.
- Add your tomatoes, broth, herbs, and spices. Wait to add the rice or dairy.
- Secure the lid, ensuring the valve is set to “sealing.” Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Once it’s done, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then switch the valve to “venting” to release the remaining pressure quickly.
- You can blend your soup now for a smoother texture if you’re using whole tomatoes.
Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?
- This allows you to control the flavor and salt content. Homemade broth often has a richer, more robust flavor due to the slow simmering of bones, vegetables, and herbs. If you have the time and ingredients, it’s a great option.
- This is a convenient and time-saving option. It’s always ready when needed, perfect for quick weeknight meals. When choosing store-bought broth, look for low-sodium versions to control the saltiness of your soup better.
Also, opt for brands with a short ingredient list to avoid unnecessary additives.
Can I Use Different Types Of Fish/Meat/Pasta/Vegetables?
- Fish: Mild white fish like cod, haddock, or halibut can be used. Shrimp or scallops also make for an interesting twist. Add the fish near the end of the cooking time to avoid overcooking.
- Meat: Beyond traditional choices like chicken or turkey, you could use lean ground beef, Italian sausage, or chorizo for some spice. If you prefer game meats, venison or rabbit could be used.
- Pasta: To substitute rice with pasta, consider small shapes like orzo, ditalini or macaroni. If you’re using pasta, it’s best to cook it separately and add it to individual servings to prevent it from becoming too soft.
- Vegetables: The sky’s the limit when it comes to vegetables. Common choices include carrots, celery, bell peppers, and zucchini. But you could also add leafy greens like kale or spinach, root vegetables like parsnips or sweet potatoes, or even different squashes.
Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For The Recipe
- Sauté the onions, celery, and carrots until they are softened to enhance their flavors.
- Rinse the rice before adding it to the soup to remove excess starch.
- Use high-quality diced tomatoes for better taste.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper gradually, tasting as you go.
- Cook the scallops just until they are tender and opaque to prevent overcooking.
- Chop Consistently: Keep your veggies the same size for even cooking.
- Prep Ahead: You can chop your veggies or measure your ingredients ahead of time to streamline the cooking process.
- Rinse the Rice: Rinse your rice under cold water before adding it to the soup to remove excess starch, preventing it from becoming gummy.
- Temper Dairy: If you’re adding dairy, temper it by gradually adding some of the hot soup before stirring it into the pot. This prevents the dairy from curdling.
Cooking Time Tips
- Please Don’t Rush the Sauté: Take your time sautéing the onions and garlic until they’re soft and fragrant. This step is essential for building flavor.
- Simmer Gently: Once all the ingredients are added, let your soup simmer gently rather than boil rapidly. This slow cooking allows the flavors to meld together.
- Check the Rice: Different types of rice have different cooking times. Start checking if the rice is done a few minutes before the suggested cooking time on the package.
- Add Quick-Cooking Ingredients Last: Ingredients like spinach, seafood, or fresh herbs should be added near the end of cooking to prevent overcooking.
- Adjust Seasoning: Taste your soup as it cooks and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Remember, it’s easier to add more seasoning than to try and fix a dish that’s too salty or spicy.
The tomato rice soup is a flavorful and comforting dish that combines the richness of tomatoes, the heartiness of rice, and the delicate flavor of scallops.
This soup offers a balanced combination of nutrients. It provides a good source of healthy fats from olive oil and essential vitamins and minerals from vegetables.
The long-grain rice adds carbohydrates for energy, and the scallops contribute a lot of protein. With the added freshness of basil, this soup is delicious and offers a range of nutritional benefits.
However, please note that nutritional values may vary based on the brands and measurements used.
What Are The Total Calories In The Recipe?
The total calories in a recipe for tomato rice soup can vary significantly depending on the specific ingredients and quantities used. However, as a rough guide, a serving of tomato rice soup might contain 150-300 calories.
This estimate assumes a basic recipe including ingredients such as tomatoes, a small amount of rice, vegetables like onions and garlic, broth, and a small amount of oil for sautéing.
Dietary Restriction Of The Recipe
- Gluten-Free: Tomato rice soup is typically gluten-free as it uses rice as a grain, which doesn’t contain gluten. However, always check labels for potential hidden sources of gluten, especially in store-bought broth or if you’re adding any sauces.
- Vegetarian/Vegan: The basic tomato rice soup can easily be vegetarian or vegan. If you’re using any meat-based broth, replace it with vegetable broth. For a vegan version, ensure that no animal products like dairy, meat, or honey are included.
- Dairy-Free/Lactose-Free: Tomato rice soup does not typically require dairy, making it suitable for those avoiding lactose or dairy. If a recipe calls for cream, you can use a non-dairy alternative or omit it.
- Low-FODMAP: This diet is often recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The main ingredients of tomato rice soup (tomatoes, rice, and broth) are generally low in FODMAPs, but onions and garlic are high in FODMAPs. You can sauté them in oil at the beginning and then remove them, or use garlic-infused oil and green onion tops for flavor.
- Low-Carb/Keto: Rice is high in carbohydrates and unsuitable for a strict low-carb or ketogenic diet. You could replace the rice with lower-carb vegetables like cauliflower rice.
Health Benefits Of The Recipe
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins C, K, and several B vitamins. They also contain key minerals like potassium and manganese. Moreover, tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which is linked to heart health and cancer prevention.
- Rice: Rice, especially whole grain rice, is a good energy source due to its carbohydrate content. It’s also low in fat and can be a source of protein. Brown rice also contains fiber, which aids in digestion and can help control blood sugar levels.
- Vegetable Broth: Vegetable broth can contain various vitamins and minerals, depending on the vegetables used. For example, it can be a good source of potassium and vitamin A.
- Vegetables: If you’re adding vegetables like carrots, celery, or bell peppers, these can increase the fiber, vitamin, and mineral content of the soup.
- Herbs and Spices: These enhance the flavor and add beneficial compounds. For example, garlic has been linked to improved heart health and spices like turmeric are rich in antioxidants.
- Hydration: Soups can contribute to your daily fluid intake, helping to keep you hydrated.
How Can We Make Soup Lower In Sodium?
- Use Fresh or No-Salt-Added Canned Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are naturally low in sodium. If you’re using canned tomatoes, look for cans labeled “no salt added” or “low sodium.”
- Make Your Broth: Store-bought broths can be high in sodium. Making your own at home allows you to control the amount of salt used.
- Choose Low-Sodium Broth: If you’re using store-bought broth, choose a “low-sodium” or “unsalted” version. Even “reduced-sodium” broths can still be quite high in sodium.
- Don’t Add Extra Salt: Resist the urge to add salt to your soup. Often, the ingredients themselves will provide enough flavor.
- Rinse Canned Goods: If you’re using canned vegetables, rinse them under cold water to wash away some excess sodium.
How To Make Soup Lower In Sugar?
- Use Fresh or No-Sugar-Added Canned Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are a great option as they have natural sugars but are not high in sugar. If you’re using canned tomatoes, look for those labeled “no sugar added.”
- Avoid Sweetened Broths: Most are unsweetened, but some may contain added sugars or sweet vegetables like carrots. Always check the label to make sure there’s no added sugar.
- Beware of Hidden Sugars: Some ingredients, like store-bought stocks or broths, certain canned goods, and even some spice mixes, can contain hidden sugars. Make sure to check the labels when purchasing.
- Use Whole Grains: Whole grains like brown rice are less likely to spike blood sugar levels compared to more processed grains.
- Skip the Sugar: Some recipes might call for a pinch of sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. You can skip this or try a non-sugar substitute like a pinch of baking soda.
How To Serve The Soup At Its Best?
- Temperature: Always serve the soup hot when it tastes the best and has the most vibrant flavors.
- Garnish: Before serving, garnish the soup with freshly chopped basil to add a pop of color and a fresh flavor. Consider a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil for a richer flavor. If you prefer a creamy soup, a swirl of cream or a sprinkle of grated cheese can also make a delicious addition.
- Accompaniments: Tomato rice soup pairs beautifully with a slice of crusty bread, a roll, or a side salad for a complete meal. For a protein boost, serve it with grilled chicken or a bean salad.
- Presentation: Serve the soup in warm bowls to keep it hot for longer. A soup spoon and a smaller spoon for adding additional seasonings to the table should accompany the bowl.
- Taste: Always taste the soup before serving. This is your last chance to adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Perfect Side Dishes To Complement The Recipe
- Crusty Bread: Tomato rice soup and a slice of warm, crusty bread is a classic combination. The bread is perfect for soaking up any leftover soup in the bowl.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A warm, crispy grilled cheese sandwich pairs wonderfully with tomato soup, offering a balance between the soup’s acidity and the sandwich’s savory, melty cheese.
- Green Salad: A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette can be a refreshing contrast to the rich and hearty soup.
- Roasted Vegetables: Seasonal roasted vegetables, like brussels sprouts, broccoli, or carrots, can provide a delightful texture contrast and additional flavors.
- Garlic Bread or Cheese Sticks: Garlic bread or cheesy breadsticks can add a savory crunch.
How Long Can We Store The Soup?
- Cooling: Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before storing it. However, avoid leaving the soup at room temperature for over 2 hours to prevent bacterial growth.
- Storing: Transfer the cooled soup into an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator. This helps to preserve the soup’s flavor and prevent it from absorbing the smells of other foods in the fridge.
- Reheating: When you’re ready to eat the soup, reheat it on the stove over medium heat until it’s hot. If you’re using a microwave, stir the soup part way through reheating to ensure even heating.
Can I Make Soup In Advance?
- Cooking in Advance: You can prepare the soup up until the point of adding the rice and scallops. Let the soup cool, and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Storing: The soup base can last in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.
- Serving: When ready to do the soup, reheat it on the stovetop until it reaches a boil. Then, add the rice and scallops, and simmer until they’re cooked through.
What Can We Do With Leftovers?
- Add Protein: Stir in some cooked chicken, beans, or tofu for a hearty and satisfying meal.
- Stuffed Peppers or Tomatoes: Use the soup as a flavorful filling for bell peppers or tomatoes. Top with cheese and bake until the vegetables are tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Pasta Sauce: Use the soup as a sauce for pasta. You should try blending it to a smoother consistency first, and you can add some cooked ground meat or vegetables if you like.
- Casserole: Combine the soup with leftover cooked vegetables, pasta or rice and some cheese, then bake until bubbly for a quick and easy stew.
- Risotto: Use the soup as a base for a tomato risotto. Simmer Arborio rice in the soup until it’s creamy and tender, stirring often.
Special Tools/Equipment Needed
- Large pot: Use a large pot to cook the soup, allowing enough space for all the ingredients.
- Cutting board and knife: A cutting board and knife are essential for chopping onions, celery, carrots, and basil.
- Wooden spoon or spatula: Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir the soup while it cooks.
- Measuring utensils: Use measuring spoons and cups to ensure accurate measurements of the ingredients.
- Can opener: If using canned diced tomatoes, a can opener will be needed to open the can.
- Ladle: A spoon will make serving the soup in bowls easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Different Types Of Rice For This Soup?
Yes, you can experiment with different types of rice. However, keep in mind that the cooking time and texture may vary. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Can I Substitute The Scallops With Another Protein?
Absolutely! If you’re not a fan of scallops, you can substitute them with shrimp, diced chicken, or even tofu for a vegetarian option.
Can I Make This Soup Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can make the soup ahead of time. Prepare the soup as instructed and refrigerate it in an airtight container. Reheat gently on the stovetop before serving.
Can I Freeze The Tomato Rice Soup?
While the soup can be frozen, it’s important to note that the texture of the rice may change upon thawing and reheating. It’s best to consume the soup fresh for optimal taste and texture.
Can I Adjust The Spiciness Level Of The Soup?
Absolutely! If you prefer a spicier soup, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce while cooking. Adjust the amount according to your preferred level of spiciness.
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