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Too-Cold-to-Shop Spinach-Rice Soup

I’ve come to the conclusion that some of my favorite fast-and-easy meals are inspired by a near-empty larder and a desire to stay indoors. That’s exactly what happened last week when, as lunchtime approached, we were in the mood for a big bowl of brothy soup and fresh out — of everything. I was supposed to have gone grocery shopping that morning but there was a menacing glaze of ice on the roads and the wind chill was below zero, so scratch that idea. Then how did I make the delicious soup you see in the photo in less than 15 minutes? It went something like this:

I sauteed some chopped onion and garlic in olive oil in a pot. Added 4 cups of water and some veggie broth base (I used Better Than Bouillon). Added about 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (leftover from previous night’s dinner), 1 1/2 cups frozen chopped spinach, and 1 1/2 cups (or a 15-ounce can) of white beans. I brought it all to a boil, then reduced the heat, added some salt and pepper and a little dried savory, and simmered for about 10 minutes. That’s it.

It was so satisfying that it’s hard to believe how simple (and quick) it was to make. The moral of the story, of course, is next time you think there’s nothing in the house to eat, think again.