Creamy Vegetable Rice Soup

When the days get cold and crisp in Maine, it means it is time to break out the soup! This is a hearty vegetarian soup that is easy to make and loaded with veggies. The vegetables listed below are the ones we used for a recent supper, but feel free to add any that you and your family love. Could be served with our favorite Quick Buttery Biscuits.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 medium yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled diced
  • 1 cup basmati (or other long-grain) rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup green beans, 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups chopped swiss chard or kale
  • 1 cup sour cream (a vegan sour cream is available at your local health food store)
  • optional garnish of 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley per bowl
  1. In a large dutch oven add the olive oil, onions, carrots, parsnips, and celery and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown.
  2. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and salt, cooking for another 5-7 minutes until the liquid from the mushrooms begins to release.
  3. Add the stock, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rice, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  4. Either remove 1/3 of the soup to a blender and pulse several times to partially blend or use an emersion blender. You’re just looking to add an element of creaminess, not puree the soup to a single smooth consistency.
  5. Add the green beans and chard, simmering slowly for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently (the soup may want to scorch on the bottom at this point)
  6. Stir in the sour cream and turn off the heat.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cheese and parsley if desired.