Looking for something to do with your leftover rice from dinner the night before? This is my own personal favorite option. If I’m making this for Jake I use chicken stock. If I’m making this for me I use veggie stock. It’s delicious either way. Of course, this is the perfect soup for experimentation. I’m sure some corn kernels would be killer in here. And I’ve often thought of adding halved olives, though I haven’t tried it yet. It’s been chilly here (for Tucson) and we’ve had the heat on the past few mornings to warm up the house. Jake was sitting at the kitchen table (his favorite place, and mine) doing his homework and complaining about how cold he was. It was about lunch time and there was a whole tub full of rice leftover from dinner the night before, so I decided to make this to warm him up.I made it extra brothy so he’d have something lovely to sip. This soup is especially easy and quick because the rice is leftover, therefore it’s already been made. Huge time saver. Another one of my favorite tricks as of late has been freezing spinach in the bag. When we see a sale on spinach we’ll sometimes get 2-4 bags of it. But we can’t use it that fast. So I’ve been keeping one bag fresh in the fridge for us to pick at while the other bags get shoved in the freezer. I love this method. This really only works when you’re buying the bags of spinach that are supposedly pre-washed. The spinach becomes frozen crunchy little pieces that are PERFECT for just dumping into soups or other dishes in which you don’t expect them to hold their shape. However, I wouldn’t try washing them after this as they become soggy very quickly. The trick is to take the bags out of the freezer at the last moment when you need them so they don’t have time to become soggy and instead go in there easily and crisply without any pieces sticking in the bags. If you feel uncomfortable relying on companies to wash the spinach for you (a legitimate concern) then do it yourself as soon as you get home and bag it up in quart-sized zip bags yourself for freezing.
Leftover Rice Soup
4 cups chicken or veggie stock
1-3 cups leftover rice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1-2 cups spinach
mozzarella or parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
1. Bring the chicken or veggie stock to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2. Add rice, salt and pepper, parsley and Italian seasoning. Stir well.
3. Let it simmer 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally so rice doesn’t stick.
4. Add the spinach and cook an additional 2-3 minutes till spinach is wilted.
5. Serve piping hot on a winter’s day, perhaps topped by a little mozzarella or parmesan cheese.