Using a Rice Cooker to Make Easy Leftover Vegetable Soup
The Easiest Soup Ever
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.
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.
- 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?
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.
- Add all ingredients into the rice cooker.
- Turn the cooker on and wait until the switch turns off.
- Depending on your rice cooker, you may need to let it go another round again.
- If using a pot, bring stock to boil, add ingredients and cook under medium-high heat for 15 minutes.
- Season to taste and serve.