A thick and hearty soup which will fill you up and keep you warm on those cold winter days. Red Bean and Bell Pepper Rice Soup is a satisfying, family favourite that’s easy to prepare and full of good-for-you ingredients!
Can I share a secret with you, Dear Reader? It’s a big one and I hope it doesn’t change your opinion of me. When it comes to food, there a very few things that I really don’t like. And, there are fewer things that I really despise. Bell peppers though, is most certainly one of them!
I cannot for the life of me, understand how someone can eat bell peppers in their raw state. To me, they taste like soil. You know that dark potting soil that you would use to grow a plant? That’s what it tastes like! And, yes, I do know how (quite well, I might add!) potting soil tastes.
When I was young, just behind the house that I grew up in, there was this one area in particular that was rich with dark, moist soil – perfect for growing a plant! The wooded area behind our family home was a popular playing ground for the kids that grew up on my street. Oh, the stories I could tell you about that wooded area! But, for the sake of privacy – and possible law suits – I’ll keep those stories to myself.
One day, while playing cops and robbers with my friends, I was playing the role of a robber, which is the role I always ended being assigned. Looking back, I think it was because I was overweight and couldn’t run as fast as a cop should be able to in order to catch the crooked robber. This particular day, I ran as fast and as hard as I could only to fall in the black soil face first. And that, Dear Reader, is how I came to know how soil tastes and am in a position to state that bell peppers and soil share extremely similar flavours.
Now, if the peppers are roasted, fried, or cooked into a soup such as this Red Bean and Bell Pepper Rice Soup, then for some reason, that soil-like taste magically disappears. Have I lost you? You really must think I’m one slice short of a whole pie by now. Ha! I’ll take a step back and talk about this particular recipe instead.
Red Bean and Bell Pepper Rice Soup was the result of a Saturday morning cooking extravaganza. I usually have several recipes written up and photographed; just waiting to be published. But, with Christmas being so busy, and my being under the weather, I wasn’t able to keep up with maintaining a recipe reserve, so to speak. So, after the holidays had been wrapped up and all the decorations put away, I warned John.e and McKenna that I would be taking an entire Saturday to do nothing but blog.
The weather cooperated, meaning that the temperature was extremely cold. In fact, it was way too cold to be outside doing anything, so staying home and cooking up a storm sounded like a great idea. In that one day, I was able to make four different soup recipes and photograph all of them. I was completely in my element! It was the perfect way to spend a cold and blustery Saturday.
The week following, life returned to the normal state of keeping up with this one being here and that one being there. We returned to work after being off for a few days for Christmas, and McKenna returned to school. John.e worked late on Tuesday and I ran a few errands. McKenna went to see the Lorax musical with her friend. On Wednesday night, McKenna had her musical theatre group to attend. On Thursday night, we all had appointments with our family doctor for our regular physical exams. Oh, and John.e had a late evening appointment.
So, you see, Dear Reader, the four pots of soup were a blessing in disguise. Soup is just one of those meals that can be completely forgiving. You can make it, let it cool down, package it up, freeze it, and reheat it without compromising the flavours or textures. Now, I’m looking forward to another cold and stormy Saturday in the near future!
Red Bean and Bell Pepper Rice Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium stalks celery, chopped
- 6 cups vegetable stock, low sodium
- 1 can diced tomatoes, 28 ounces
- 2 cans red kidney beans, 19 ounces, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 1/4 cups uncooked instant white rice
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish; optional)
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, (I used my Le Creuset) add the onion and olive oil. Over medium heat, saute the onions for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, and peppers. Stir into the onions and allow to cook for 3 minutes.
Next, add the stock, tomatoes, beans, pepper, salt, dried red chili flakes, thyme, oregano, chili powder, and paprika. Stir to combine.
Cover and allow to cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Next, add the rice and stir to incorporate. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer until the rice is fully cooked. This should take about 5 minutes.
Add the frozen corn. Stir into the soup. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve.
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