Italian Zucchini-Rice Soup


This soup gets its porridgelike consistency from short-grain Arborio rice. Because it thickens on standing, it’s best to serve it right away. Parmesan cheese is salty, so if you omit it you may need to add more salt to taste. Meal plan: While rice is simmering, toss up a big mixed green salad with sliced cucumbers and wedges of avocado and dress with a natural, low-fat balsamic vinaigrette. For an Italian-style dessert, serve almond biscotti.

  • 6Servings


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, 1/4 inch of white center parts removed (reserve for another use, such as vegetable stock), remainder thinly sliced
  • 2 15-oz. cans vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 3 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/3 cup shredded fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper


In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add zucchini and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Pour in broth and 2 cups water. Stir in rice. Increase heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes; soup will thicken slightly. Stir in tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired and serve.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 232
  • Carbohydrate Content: 35 g
  • Fat Content: 3 g
  • Fiber Content: 2 g
  • Protein Content: 5 g
  • Sodium Content: 301 mg