A delicious new way to enjoy a classic dish!
When I revisited stuffed peppers to come up with a more contemporary version a few months ago, it reminded me of how much I enjoyed this classic flavour combination. It’s nourishing, comforting, delicious and satisfying. While I’ll continue to make my snazzier stuffed peppers often, I wanted a version of that dish that would be a little more portable and this is it. I love taking thermoses of soup on our winter adventures and this will likely be a recipe I turn to time and time again. Note that if you want to make this recipe ahead of time, it’s best to prepare the meat, vegetables, broth and seasonings and then stop at that point. The mixture can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours. 45 minutes before serving, reheat the soup base; when it’s simmering, add the rice and cook until tender before serving. If you prepare the complete soup ahead of time the rice will absorb too much liquid. To reheat leftovers, more broth or water may be needed to return the soup to an ideal consistency.
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
- 1 pound (454 g) ground turkey (or vegan equivalent)
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced fresh mushrooms
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) each dried oregano and basil
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) red wine (optional)
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) Worcestershire sauce (omit for vegans)
- Few shakes Tabasco or other hot sauce
- 6 cups (1.5 L) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup (250 mL) toasted brown rice *
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh parsley or basil leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated mozzarella or cheddar (or vegan alternative)
* toasting brown rice before cooking gives it a rich, nutty flavour and also causes it to cook faster and be more fluffy and tender upon completion. Toast it ahead of time by placing rice in a dry, medium-sized saucepan and warm it over medium heat for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan often, until it is just starting to turn a golden brown colour and you can smell it becoming fragrant. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and let cool.
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottom pot over medium heat until shimmering (or use an InstantPot set to Sauté). Add ground turkey, salt and pepper; use a wooden spoon to break it up into large pieces. Stir occasionally while the meat cooks and all traces of pink are gone (8 – 10 minutes).
- Add the vegetables and dried herbs to the meat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 – 7 minutes. Stir in red wine, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, broth and rice.
- Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
- If using an InstantPot, place lid on pot and close steam valve. Press the Rice button and let it cook. Quickly depressurize when the cycle has finished.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of cheese.
Makes 6 servings.