Savory Mushroom and Rice Soup

A lot has changed since my last post. I have re-rooted myself and am officially in Texas. I've been working to get my new apartment comfortable and have started my first semester here in Texas. I have been utilizing my freezer to hold excess servings of food because I figured (and rightly so) that I would be crazy busy as a new doctorate student. I have taken time to explore my new town and beautiful campus, and of course sample some local fare...well, local wine at least (which should be considered thesis research because I will be studying winegrapes!). My first day back I went to the grocery store and picked up a bottle of Twin Springs wine, a sweet red table wine. I was not disappointed in this selection because it was the perfect wine to sip after a long day of flying, taxi-driving, and first attempt at organizing my messy apartment. It was easy to drink with fresh raspberry and grape jelly flavor and aroma. I would highly suggest this one.

Now, onto my first fix-and-freeze recipe. I bought a lot of dry goods before leaving to go home for the holidays, and this soup is for the most part based off of those ingredients. Mushrooms and rice may not seem substantial, but what makes this soup special and rich is the addition of both beef broth and tomato paste which add body and a more intense flavor. Plus, beef and mushrooms are a match made in heaven. I froze individual servings in plastic freezer bags. These should be good for up to 3 months in the freezer. Just thaw in the refrigerator and heat in a microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan. I should also mention this is a great budget-friendly meal, too.

Savory Mushroom and Rice Soup
Printable Recipe

1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 8-oz package fresh mushrooms, any variety, thinly sliced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 32-oz box low-sodium beef broth
2 tbsp low-sodium tomato paste
1/4 tsp dried sage
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup par-boiled brown rice
salt and pepper, to taste
suggested garnish: chopped parsley

1. Heat a large saucepan or 4-qt stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and once it's war add the onion, celery, mushrooms, carrot, and garlic. Saute all the vegetables until tender.
2. Pour in the beef broth, tomato pates, sage, water, and season with some salt and pepper. Once the tomato paste has dissolved upon stirring, bring the heat to high.
3. When the liquid is boiling, add the rice and reduce heat to simmer; cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

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