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Using a Rice Cooker to Make Easy Leftover Vegetable Soup

Updated on October 10, 2014

The Easiest Soup Ever

Leftover Soup
Leftover Soup

As I was walking around my neighborhood today, I noticed a single plum tree starting to blossom. In fact it was already at half bloom which can only mean one thing - spring is just around the corner! It was as if an old friend had finally come back after a long absence and I was excited.

Celebrate the end of winter with soup

In just a few weeks, the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom so I decided to celebrate the end of the long winter season with a hearty bowl of soup. I looked around my refrigerator to see what I had - carrots, daikon radish, leeks, a stalk of celery, a quarter cabbage and some leftover fried chicken. Along with a good can of chicken stock, I put everything into the rice cooker, switched it on and waited until the rice cooker notified me that my soup was ready. No mixing, no watching the pot. Just switch it on.

Soup in a rice cooker?

Now you're probably wondering why I cooked my soup in the rice cooker. Recently a fellow Squidoo lensmaster RenaissanceWoman2010 wrote a fantastic book review about cooking green and it mentioned that the humble rice cooker is an incredibly energy efficient method of cooking, compared to traditional stove top methods. Not only do I leave less carbon footprint cooking this way, there's also less mess to clean up afterwards. In fact, I've baked cakes as well as cheesecakes in my rice cooker and interestingly enough, they always came out perfect.

The great thing about this soup is that you can make it with any vegetables you have on hand. I've literally used leftovers in my refrigator and it turned out great. If you don't own a rice cooker, you can easily make it in a pot, no problem! It'll still come out tasting just as as great.

Some helpful tips

  • Depending on the rice cooker you're using, you may need to switch it back on for an extra round. The newer intelligent rice cookers are usually smarter and one round is usually enough.
  • Cut all ingredients into the approximately the same size for even cooking.
  • Use any seasonal vegetables you like and and make it your own.
  • Use a normal pot to make the soup if you don't own a rice cooker. No problem.
  • Substitute other stocks ( vegetable, beef, konbu, dashi ) instead of chicken.

Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, 1.0-Liter
Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, 1.0-Liter

Not only does this top-of-the-line rice cooker make perfect rice, there are separate settings for steaming ( comes with steaming basket ), and baking cakes. Making other dishes such as soups, fried rice and even cheesecake is a breeze.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 4


  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1/4 daikon radish diced
  • 1 stalk leek, sliced into 1-inch pieces.
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cabbage, torn by hand
  • 1 piece leftover fried chicken ( optional )
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What Do You Think?

Cast your vote for Leftover Rice Cooker Soup
The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook: 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings, and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker
The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook: 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings, and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker

Over 60 recipes that you can make in your rice cooker in 30 minutes or less. Using your rice cooker for quick meals means less mess to clean up. Recipes such as Chicken Fajita Stuffed Potato and Cajun Pepper Steak makes this book great for those who prefer meat and potatoes.



  1. Add all ingredients into the rice cooker.
  2. Turn the cooker on and wait until the switch turns off.
  3. Depending on your rice cooker, you may need to let it go another round again.
  4. If using a pot, bring stock to boil, add ingredients and cook under medium-high heat for 15 minutes.
  5. Season to taste and serve.

Have you ever used your rice cooker to cook anything other than rice? All comments are welcome and appreciated. Thanks!

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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Rice cooker is staple in our kitchen. Even when we live in other countries, I always get one so the more use I have of it, the better. I will certainly use it for this soup.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      I don't know why I've never thought of using radishes in a soup stock, especially since I love them. Good idea, and recipe. Pinning of course :)

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      SandyMertens, yes probably the simplest thing i've ever made.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      theJavaGirl, never thought of boiling potatoes in them. Very interesting. Ahh that's a good question. You might have to turn the rice cooker off before it's ready in your case, although I know that some rice cookers will automatically turn off ever before evaporation.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      SheGetsCreative, how awesome. I must try chili next time.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Glad you like it VspaBotanicals

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I love making soup in my crock pot. This is really easy to make.

    • theJavaGirl profile image


      5 years ago from Atlanta

      I use my rice cooker every day and my husband even boils potatoes in it. For soups and stews we usually get the slow cooker out, but the rice cooker for soup is a genius idea! I have to try it next time.

      One question though, how does the rice cooker know the soup is ready? I have a simple rice cooker that switches to the warm setting when liquid has evaporated, but with soup ...

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I've used mine to hard boil eggs, make chili and more. Soup is a definite can-do for the rice cooker!

    • VspaBotanicals profile image


      5 years ago

      This is a wonderful idea, and I can't wait to do this! Thanks!

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      5 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @Susan Zutautas: Thanks Susan. I will do that.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      5 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @SteveKaye: I'll be coming up with more recipes using a rice cooker very soon.

    • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Shinichi Mine 

      5 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @MarathonRunning: Thanks so much!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      5 years ago from Colorado

      I love that you have presented these delicious examples of the versatility of green cooking using a rice cooker. I was hoping you would write about this. Thanks for the shout-out. I'll be featuring this on various green living sites. Thank you!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      I don't own one, but with RenaissanceWoman's lens about green cooking the other day, and now your tummy-warming soup recipe, I am intrigued. I am curious how long it takes to make the soup and how the rice cooker knows that it's done.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I steam vegetables in my rice cooker but I've never made soup. Great idea and one that I will be trying soon! Thank you!

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      5 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Looks delicious, Smine27! Loved hearing/reading about the rice cooker and the book review too--very nice of you to share. I didn't realize a cooker could be used for anything but rice. Now I do! Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Looks and sounds really good. I'd love to share your soup recipes on my "Soups On" contributor page. If you'd like me to,please stop by and put a link to your soup recipes in the comment box.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Amazing. I'm going to check out this rice cooker.

    • MarathonRunning profile image


      5 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      I don`t have a rice cooker yet, but I like your recipe very much!


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