The absolute most delicious and flavorful healthy vegan vegetable soup out there! This vegan soup has a rich tomato broth and hearty rice texture to fill you up. It is oil-free and incredibly healthy and good for you.
For the cayenne pepper, a 1/4 teaspoon gives a subtle but perfectly, delicious kick of heat. It is just enough to really enhance the overall soup and feel it in your throat, without it overpowering the soup. It is optional, so you can leave it out or reduce to 1/8 teaspoon for sensitivity or for kids.
Have all of your ingredients measured and ready to go, as this soup comes together very fast.
Add the onion, garlic (if using the garlic cloves) and 1/4 cup water and a pinch of salt to a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until softened and all the water is gone. Once the water is gone, lower the heat to low and stir constantly for a couple of minutes to caramelize the onions a bit. Be careful not to burn them.
Add all of the remaining ingredients (except the cooked rice), including the garlic powder (if using in place of the garlic cloves) and cayenne (if using) and stir well. Turn the heat to high and bring to a high boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. The veggies should be perfectly tender, but still have a slight bite to them. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked rice. My flavor was spot on but if your tomato sauce did not have added salt, you may need another pinch.
If you want it spicier, add more pepper or cayenne. The 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne was the perfect level of heat for me so it wasn't overpowering. The soup should have a nice amount of broth to it still but will definitely thicken up well as it sits a bit (from the rice) so don't be tempted to add extra veggies. I found it to be the perfect mix of veggies and broth so both could be enjoyed. Not too soupy and not too chunky. Serve with bread.
ITALIAN SEASONING: For the Italian seasoning, make sure it is one without any added salt or red pepper flakes. If you cannot find this, sub with 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried basil and 1 teaspoon dried rosemary.