Red Bean and Rice Soup

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Delicious, hearty soups are not just food for the body; they are food for the soul.

12 ounces dried small red beans
8 cups water
1/2 large red onion (chopped)
2 large cloves of garlic (minced)
2 stalks of celery (chopped)
2 large carrots (diced)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base
3/4 cup long-grain brown rice
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (or sage)
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

Sort and then soak the beans overnight in 8 cups of water, drain, then replace the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes or until the beans are tender. (For a quick-soak method, boil the beans for 3 to 5 minutes, then cover, and let stand 1 hour before proceeding).

Meanwhile, chop the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Sauté the vegetables in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

After the beans have simmered for 40 minutes, add the bouillon base, long-grain brown rice, bay leaf, curry powder, oregano, and poultry seasoning. Bring the soup back to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the sautéed vegetables, tomatoes, and tomato paste.

Simmer for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables and rice are fully tender.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.