Tomato rice soup is the ultimate healthy comfort food. And it's so easy to make! Serve it with a big green salad or grilled cheese sandwiches.
Tomato Rice Soup instantly evokes childhood memories of sitting around the kitchen table on a chilly day, dunking grilled cheese sandwich triangles into a steaming bowl of tomato soup. Mmmmm...
It’s hearty enough to serve as a main dish, with a green salad, tossed with homemade balsamic dressing, and a loaf of crusty bread to round out the meal.
One of the great things about this soup is its versatility. Feel free to switch up the type of rice used. You can also add a variety of vegetables, such as sautéed mushrooms, zucchini and carrots.
If you don’t want to go meatless, add some cooked chicken breast. Or bulk up this plant-based soup with cooked chickpeas.
💙 What’s to love about this Tomato Rice Soup recipe:
▪️ COMFORTING: There’s something about tomato soup that just screams comfort! It’s a great option for a chilly day.
▪️ HEALTHY: From the fiber in the brown rice to the lycopene in the canned tomatoes, tomato rice soup earns its healthy checkmark!
▪️ FREEZER-FRIENDLY: If you like to meal prep, this soup is for you. It freezes well for up to 3 months. The perfect reason to make a double batch!
Serve tomato rice soup with a green salad, such as my family’s favorite Apple Pecan Salad or Mediterranean Cucumber Salad. Or go for a soup and sandwich combo with a Grilled Turkey Sandwich or Vegan Hummus Avocado Sandwich.
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INGREDIENTS FOR TOMATO AND RICE SOUP:
- TOMATOES: Use canned crushed tomatoes. The recipe calls for one large (28 ounce) and one small (14 ounce) can. A total of 42 ounces. The best crushed tomatoes are ones from San Marzano, which is specified on the label. They tend to be more expensive, so feel free to use your favorite cheaper brand, if desired.
- RICE: I use brown basmati rice. Brown jasmine rice or any other long grain brown rice can be substituted.
- BROTH: Use your favorite homemade or store-bought low-sodium vegetable broth.
- OLIVE OIL: A couple of teaspoons to sauté the onion. If you prefer an oil-free version, sauté the onion with a little water or broth.
- AROMATICS: Onion and garlic.
- HERBS AND SPICES: The recipe calls for dried oregano, salt, black pepper, fresh basil and fresh parsley. In addition, I like to add a dash of red pepper flakes (crushed red pepper) for a little heat. Leave that out if you’re sensitive to spice.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
RICE: As mentioned above, any type of long-grain brown rice can be used. If using white rice, add it in the last 20 minutes of the cooking time.
BROTH: Chicken broth can be substituted for the vegetable broth. The dish will no longer be considered vegetarian, vegan or plant-based.
HERBS: Dried thyme is a great substitute for the dried oregano in this recipe.
VEGETABLES: This soup is versatile and is a great base recipe. Feel free to bulk it up by adding other vegetables, such as carrots, celery, mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini and spinach.
How to make Tomato Rice Soup:
The general instructions for this soup recipe are very simple: Sauté the aromatics, simmer with the tomatoes, rice and broth, then add the fresh herbs. Let’s talk details…
SAUTE THE AROMATICS: Start by heating a drizzle of olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. I like to use a large, enameled cast iron saucepan for soups, but any large saucepan works. Add the finely diced onions and sauté the veggies until the onions is tender and translucent. That should take about 6 to 8 minutes. If you notice that the onions are drying out while cooking, add a teaspoon or two of water.
GARLIC AND HERBS: Add the minced garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes (if using), salt and pepper. Cook for one minute while giving it a good stir.
ADD THE BROTH AND RICE: Start by rinsing the rice in a fine mesh sieve to remove any extra starch. Mix both cans of crushed tomatoes, along with the rice, broth and water into the saucepan with the onion mixture. Give it a good stir.
BOIL AND SIMMER: Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn down the heat so the mixture stays at a simmer. On my stovetop, I was able to maintain a simmer on medium-low heat, but every stovetop is a little different. Cover the saucepan and cook until the rice is tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
***IMPORTANT: Stir the mixture a couple of times while during the simmering time. Use a wooden spoon and run it along the bottom of the saucepan to stop any rice from sticking to the pan.
SEASON AND FINISH: Taste the soup (careful, it will be hot!) and season to taste with extra salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, as needed. Stir in the fresh basil and parsley.
SERVE: Ladle the soup into bowls and serve! If you like a little cheesiness with your soup, grate some Parmesan cheese on top.
Storage and Freezing Tips:
Tomato soup with rice is a fantastic make-ahead meal for lunches or light dinners. It can be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer.
REFRIGERATOR: Cool the soup, then transfer to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
FREEZER: Cool the soup, then transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
REHEATING: If frozen, remove the soup from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, defrost it in the microwave.
If reheating the entire batch, it’s easiest to do so in a saucepan on the stovetop. For individual portions, heat it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, or until it reaches the desired temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes, with a couple of adjustments. Since white rice cooks in about half the time as white rice, it should be added in the last 20 minutes of the simmering time. Test for doneness to make sure it’s tender.
Yes, it is both vegan and gluten-free. To make sure it’s plant based/vegan, use vegetable broth rather than chicken broth.
Rice is naturally gluten-free. I suggest double-checking labels to confirm the rice you’re using is processed in a gluten-free facility.
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Tomato Rice Soup
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 42 ounces canned crushed tomatoes (one 28-ounce can and one 14-ounce can)
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup uncooked brown basmati rice rinsed and drained
- 5 large basil leaves thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.
- Add the diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and becomes translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. If the onions are drying out as they cook, add a teaspoon or two of water.
- Add garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook, stiring, for 1 minute.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes (both cans), vegetable broth, water and rice. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low (or whatever heat allows the mixture to cook at a simmer).
- Cover and simmer until the rice is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Stir a couple of times during the cooking time, scraping the bottom of the saucepan with a wooden spoon to ensure that the rice isn’t sticking.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the basil and parsley. Serve.
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