Growing up in an Italian household, the tomato ruled all when it came to cuisine and formulaic recipes were unheard of.
Some of my favorite meals—which were passed on from my Nonna to my Nanny to my mother and, finally, to me—were shared by word of mouth or hastily scratched onto the back of a napkin. If you were lucky enough to come across any kind of written instruction, the phrases “two pinches of this,” “a handful of that” and “just eyeball it” took the place of formal measurements.
Here is one of my own, favorite tomato-based creations: Tomato, Zucchini & Rice Soup. This hearty soup is a quick solution for an evening meal. Serve with a side of veggies or a crunchy homemade garlic bread to dip. Bon appetite!
Tomato, Zucchini & Rice Soup
- 3 large zucchinis
- 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
- Low-fat, reduced sodium beef broth (32 fl oz)
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup whole grain brown “Minute” rice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Spices: dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, black and red pepper
Prep (5 mins)
- Wash and dice zucchinis
- Drain canned tomatoes
- Peel and press garlic
Let’s Cook! (20 mins)
- In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add pressed garlic and heat until fragrant. (about 1min)
- Add diced tomatoes and zucchini. Season with basil, oregano, garlic powder and pepper to taste. (For starters, try: 1 ½ tbsp basil, 1 ½ tbsp oregano, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ⅛ tsp black pepper, red pepper flakes – sparingly)
- Stir well and simmer uncovered about 6 mins, or until zucchini is slightly softened.
- Meanwhile, bring beef broth and water to a slow boil over med-high heat in large, covered pot. Reduce heat to medium.
- Add veggie mix to broth, cook uncovered (about 2 mins).
- Add rice to pot, cook covered for 5 mins, or until rice is softened.
- Serve & enjoy! Optional: sprinkle with parmesan cheese and/or red pepper flakes.
- Try substituting 2 lbs fresh tomatoes (about 10, medium sized) for canned
- I recommend: Trader Joes Organic “Diced & No Salt Added” Tomatoes and Trader Joes Organic Gluten Free, Low-Fat Beef Broth
About the Author
Introducing: Sloane Brazina
Sloane was first introduced to the Just Cook for Kids campaign as a student in Dr. Maya Adam’s “Critical Issues in Child Health” class. She was inspired by Dr. Adam’s mission, and is very honored and excited to join the Just Cook team. A lifelong athlete and former member of the Stanford Varsity Diving team, she is deeply invested in nutrition. Sloane is a food enthusiast and enjoys cooking, exploring farmers markets and, above all, eating.
Sloane graduated from Stanford University in 2015 with a degree in Human Biology and will begin medical school in 2017.