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Pesto Rice & Bean Soup Will Make You Love Leftovers

Delish logo Delish 1/28/2022 June Xie
This one-pot pesto rice & bean soup can be as flexitarian as you’d like it: chicken or vegetable broth will both do just great as long as you have the pesto! © PHOTO: ANDREW BUI; FOOD STYLING: JUSTIN SULLIVAN This one-pot pesto rice & bean soup can be as flexitarian as you’d like it: chicken or vegetable broth will both do just great as long as you have the pesto!

This one-pot pesto rice & bean soup can be as flexitarian as you’d like it. While we use chicken broth here to add a layer of savoriness without actually adding meat, you’re free to substitute it with vegetable broth or water. Depending on personal taste, you can also use whatever type of canned beans you’d like—or, if you’re really feeling in the mood to cook up a storm, you can make your own beans beforehand. Craving meat? Start with browning half a pound of sliced Italian sausage in your pot until the edges are crispy before adding in your onions and carrots.

When it comes to choosing your type of grain, I recommend going with a short-grain brown, especially of the “sticky” variety. These glutinous grains have a lightly sweet flavor and the rice retains its shape during a longer cook, resulting in a satisfying al dente bounce once tender. You could just as well use white rice, farro, barley, or even hominy: it’s a very flexible blueprint for a pot of hearty soup.

You can go with store-bought pesto or make your own: we’ve got you covered with recipes for a classically green basil pesto or a rich, red tomato pesto. To keep your soup more eye-catchingly vibrant, reserve half the pesto for stirring in at the very end.

To serve, top your bowl with more cheese, toasty nuts, and fresh, fragrant herbs for an extra colorful and flavorful first bite.If you’ve made this recipe, be sure to drop us a note down below in the comments section to let us know how you tweaked it to make it yours!

Yields: 4 servings


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Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp.

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1

    small yellow onion, chopped

  • 2

    medium carrots, chopped

  • 4

    cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/4 c.

    sundried tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp.

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp.

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp.

    dried oregano

  • 1/4 tsp.

    red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1/2 c.

    short-grain brown rice, rinsed

  • 4 c.

    low-sodium chicken broth or water, divided

  • 1/2 c.

    pesto

  • 2

    (15.5-oz.) cans beans of your choice (such as butter beans and pink beans), rinsed and drained

  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

  • Toasted pine nuts, for serving (optional)

  • Fresh herbs, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, 6 to 8 minutes. Add rice and stir until toasted, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups broth and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and let cook until rice is al dente, 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Return heat to medium and add ¼ cup of the pesto, beans, and remaining broth. Stir to combine and continue cooking until slightly thickened and rice is completely tender, 12 to 15 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ¼ cup pesto.
  4. Garnish with Parmesan, pine nuts, and herbs before serving.
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