There is nothing quite like a delicious soup on a chilly afternoon, but with a giant appetite I tend to find that even the most delicious soup doesn’t satisfy my desire for texture, and so I’ve created this super easy recipe combining wholesome brown rice with a hearty onion soup.
I start by rinsing a pot of brown rice in cold water to remove any dust and grit, then slice two cloves of garlic and a couple of clicks of fresh ground black pepper before covering it with about an inch of tapwater and bringing it to the boil on the stove with a lid on. When it’s up to a rolling boil I then turn it down to a very low heat and move it to the back ring of the cooker for twenty minutes to bubble away by itself. Brown rice is a huge favourite of mine, as the rice contains the whole grain so it is much more filling and nutritious than white rice and it keeps you feeling fuller for longer, helping you to step away from those naughty snacks.
Whilst my brown rice cooks I then prepare the onion soup. I like to combine a variety of onions to get the best range of flavours, so to a pan I finely chop one white onion, one red onion, and a handful of spring onions, along with an inch of ginger, a good splash of lemon juice, dark soy sauce, whole peppercorns and a vegetable stock cube with a splash of water.
I cook my veggies on a medium heat allowing them to sizzle away and turn transparent in the small amount of juice from the stock, lemon and soy, which takes around several minutes depending on how well done you like your food. I then add one red chopped raw chilli and a whole jug of water, stirring up the pan to collect all of the caramelised pieces of onion. Part of my love for soup comes from its thickness and texture, so rather than blending it all into a liquid or leaving it lumpy floating in water, I much prefer to use a hand blender to whizz a couple of clicks and blend about a third of the mixture. This way the soup itself can thicken up, but you still get a burst of flavour from whole ingredients and seasonings.
By cooking the onions and leaving the chilli raw it adds a great punch of heat and texture as well as colour and contrast to the dish, as it’s well know that we eat with all of our senses, not just our mouth. I strain off the brown rice and add it to the soup, giving it all a couple of minutes to allow the flavours to infuse before serving up a couple of ladles into a bowl and adding one teaspoon of golden linseeds, another of black chia seeds and a sprig of fresh basil from the garden. The seeds are packed with nutrients and add a nice little crunch to the soup, a great alternative to croutons or bread. And voila, a homemade and brilliantly fresh wholesome onion soup that will keep you content until tea time!