This soup is full of flavors without being overwhelming, full of nutrition without being heavy, and a full meal in one bowl. There are many ways to tailor it to the tastes and preferences of your recipient. For the greens, you can use broccoli rabe, which admittedly is not to everyone’s taste but I adore it, cleaned and chopped, or another sturdy green, like kale, which is more universally appealing. Whichever green you choose, reserve the other half-bunch for the Little Meatballs or the UnMeatballs, which accompany the soup. Note that the rice should be soaked overnight in cold water to generously cover before making this soup.
— Janet Reich Elsbach
From Extra Helping by Janet Reich Elsbach © 2018 by Janet Reich Elsbach. Illustrations © 2018 by Anna Brones. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Image: courtesy of Janet Reich Elsbach, from her blog, A Raisin + a Porpoise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 medium leek tough outer leaves removed, quartered, cleaned, and sliced fine
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1-2 large carrots peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
- 2-3 medium Yukon Gold or similar potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup wild rice, soaked overnight and drained
- 8-10 cups vegetable or chicken brooth
- 1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, kale, or other greens, stemmed and chopped (about 4 cups, loosely packed)
- 1 batch Little Meatballs (recipe linked in headnote)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and the salt, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until it softens.
- Add the leek and continue to sauté another 5 minutes, until both are lightly golden; add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more, keeping the heat low so the garlic does not brown.
- Add the cumin, coriander, and cayenne to taste, and stir to release their fragrance; add the carrot and potatoes and stir to coat; add the drained rice and 8 cups of the broth. Bring to a simmer and leave there, for about 1 hour, covered, until the rice is sprung and tender; keep an eye on the level of broth and add more, if needed, to keep things soupy. Keep the greens in reserve until serving time.
- All of this will wait patiently now, until you are ready for it, and the soup will be the better for the waiting. When that time of readiness comes, you, or the recipient of your generosity, simply need to reheat the soup and drop in the greens. Separately heat the meatballs up, in the oven or in a skillet on the stove. When the greens are nicely cooked, about 7 minutes, taste the soup for seasoning (it should be pretty subtle, as the meatballs pack a wallop), and divide it among the bowls, dropping a little cluster of meatballs into each serving.
- This soup can be used immediately, refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen for up to 3 months.
Leave a Reply