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Provencal tomato soup with rice

Bowl of Provencal tomato and rice soup topped with bread and grated cheese

Provencal tomato soup with rice is a year round dish, traditionally served as much in the summer as the winter in Provence. Its full of flavour and has a rich taste of the south of France…

Ingredients for 6 portions

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 celery stalk, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced thick
1 green pepper, diced
28 ounces plum tomatoes, crushed
Red pepper (chilli) flakes and sea salt (to taste)
1 1/2 quart broth (1.5l)
Bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried oregano (or fresh)
Parmesan rind (optional)
1/2 cup arborio or risotto rice (110g)
1/2 bulb fennel, diced (optional)

Method

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, pepper, celery, (and fennel, if using). Cook, stirring until the vegetables begin to soften, for about five minutes.

Add the tomatoes, salt, and chilli flakes. Simmer, stirring often, for about 15 minutes to cook the tomatoes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the rice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more seasoning to taste.

Remove the bay leaf and Parmesan rind and discard. Remove some of the cooked vegetables with a slotted spoon. Now carefully blend the ingredients in the pot. Return the reserved vegetables, and the rice to the pot. Stir, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

Float toasted baguette slices and grated cheese on top (parmigiano-reggiano is great for this) for extra flavour…

Recipe by Greg Gohde author of Bass Clef Chef Family Cookbook

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