Rice and Tomato Soup

 

I do not know if my mother knew how to make a soup, consommé or a broth, for sure I cannot remember my mother eating a soup except for the soup made with rice, beans and cruzziteddi, dry chestnuts, and the tomato rice soup.
As I have mentioned my mother was an eclectic cook with a limited menu traditionally Sicilian and able to prepare these few dishes well, with speed and excellence.
These rice dishes were in my mother repertoire and she taught the family to love and appreciate them and to date I still enjoy eating them for the memories and for what I was indoctrinated to believe is good taste.
Rice soup with tomato is a dish that my father and my siblings eat fuming hot. My mother and I would eat it when it was lukewarm to better taste the rice and the tomato and to savor the flavors of the herbs and spices. 
The preparation is simple and most of the ingredients are in your pantry.

 

Serves 6

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can 28 oz. peeled tomatoes
  • 8 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • A pinch of oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 lb Arborio rice
  • ¼ cup of parsley, finely chopped
  • 20 treads of saffron, crushed and diluted in 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 cup of grated pecorino or caciocavallo cheese

 

                                           

Preparation

 

Pass tomatoes through a vegetable mill to remove any seeds and skin. Set aside.
In a 6 quart sauce pot, over a medium heat, place 3 tablespoons of oil with the onions and sauté until they become light gold in color. Pour in a bowl and set on the side.
In the same pot, sauté the oil and garlic over a medium heat until the garlic is light golden, less than 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Wait a couple of minutes and very carefully and a little at a time, pour the tomatoes into the saucepan. Add salt, pepper, oregano and the basil leaves. Replace the pot on the stove over a medium heat. 
Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until sauce is cooked, stirring occasionally.
A pot of boiling water has to be kept on the side, because it will be needed in this preparation.

Add to the sauce, the sautéed onions, 8 cups of hot water, half of the parsley 1 teaspoon of salt, and the Arborio rice. 
Bring to a boil, than lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If soup becomes too dry add some hot water.

 

                                                 

                 Cooking Rice in Tomato Sauce

 


 

Liquid should be at least 1 inch above the rice at all times.
When time is up, test for doneness; rice should be soft but not overcooked. If needed, add more salt and some freshly grounded black pepper. Add the remaining parsley, the 3 tablespoons of oil, and the saffron.
Wait a few minutes before dishing it out. Serve with grated cheese on the side.

 

                   Rice & Tomato Sauce