Despite our best intentions, we always manage to end up with a lone zucchini or a few wilted leeks leftover from our most recent visit to the farmers market. This soup is a good one for using up those neglected vegetables, plus whatever other ingredients have been hanging out for too long!
The addition of rice and beans makes this vegetarian soup satisfying without being heavy. We love it warm with a slice of crusty bread on the side, but it’s also surprisingly good served cold. Try spritzing a lemon over the top for a zesty flavor!
Summer Vegetable Soup with Rice and Beans Serves 6-8 people
1 large onion, diced small 2 carrots, diced small 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced into half-moons 1 zucchini, diced small 4-5 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons minced thyme 1 bay leaf 3-5 cups vegetable broth, plus water to cover 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces 1-2 cups of corn kernels (from 2-3 ears of corn) 3 cups cooked rice or pasta 2 cups (or one 15-ounce can) cooked white beans like navy or cannellini Salt and pepper Optional Flavoring Extras: cheese rinds, 3-4 tablespoons leftover pesto or romesco sauce, roasted garlic
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large dutch-oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook the onions with a pinch of salt until they are translucent but not brown. Add the carrots, leeks, zucchini, and another healthy pinch of salt, and cook until they have softened. Stir in the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf, cooking just until the garlic is fragrant.
Pour in the broth, adding extra water to cover as needed to cover, and bring to a rapid simmer. Add the green beans along with any extra flavorings. Cook until the green beans are cooked through but still firm. Stir in the corn, rice or pasta, and white beans. Simmer until all the ingredients are warmed through. Taste, season with salt and pepper as needed, and serve.