Florentine Rice Soup

With my schedule vacillating between one week with a house full of boys, and the next, being all by my lonesome, meal planning gets interesting.

(Confession: On my 'off' weeks, I don't always do so well in terms of feeding myself. Never have. For many years, cereal would suffice as dinner, until my digestion and waistline told me to knock it off. I get lazy, or distracted, and resort too often to convenience stuff or eating out. I mean, it's just me... hardly worth the effort...)

But, I'm feeling the effects. Not good.

And there are plenty simple, healthy dishes I can toss together with stuff I already have - saving me a dreaded grocery shopping trip.

Like this, from Christina Pirello's "Cooking the Whole Foods Way".* It's been pouring rain outside since this morning - I'm fighting off a cold, and so, I was feeling like soup would be just the thing.


I had white rice leftover from a Chinese food lunch earlier this week, and I substituted 'Thai Culinary Stock' from Wegman's (containing things like hot chili sauce, garlic, lemongrass, ginger and lime leaf... oh my!) in place of the called-for vegetable stock.

And, oh look! Kale!! My favorite... in case you didn't know.

So very simple and no room for excuses.


  • 1 cup white rice
  • Sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups spring or filtered water
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (of course, 2 to me means at least twice that..)
  • 3 to 4 shallots
  • 4 to 5 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 3 or 4 kale leaves

Rinse rice very well to prevent it from becoming sticky when it is cooked. Simply place rice in a bowl with enough water to cover and gently swirl with your hands. Drain through a strainer and repeat the process and repeat process until water rinses relatively clear.


Place rice in a pot with a pinch of sea salt and water and bring to a boil, uncovered. cover pot and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Transfer rice to a bowl, cover, and set aside.

In a soup pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat about 10 minutes. Add cooked rice, season lightly with salt and simmer 5 minutes more. Stir in kale and simmer 1 t0 2 minutes before serving.

Makes 5 to 6 servings.

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