Will Rice Cook In Soup? Your Complete How-To Guide

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Chicken soup with rice in a bowl with bread on the side with a text "will rice cook in soup"

Rice and soup are both warming comfort foods. They’re perfect for cold winter days or when you want to nourish your body and soul. Can you cook your rice in soup?

Soup with rice in a bowl with spoon with a logo of fooducopia in the lower right side of the image.

You can cook rice in soup, but it may get mushy. If you prefer to cook rice in your soup, rinse it first. Then, add it 30-45 minutes before the soup finishes cooking. The optimal way is to cook rice on the side and add it to your soup bowl as you enjoy your soup.

Can I Put Uncooked Rice In Soup?

Yes, you can put uncooked rice in soup. When you cook rice in soup, it absorbs the broth’s flavor. You’ll create an extra rich and tasty dish if you cook rice in your soup! Adding uncooked rice to your soup also helps bulk it up, making it more filling. 

One major downside to adding uncooked rice to soup is that it gets mushy. It keeps absorbing liquid as long as it’s in the soup. Over time, it absorbs almost all of the liquid and becomes puffy and mushy.

I add uncooked rice if I know I’ll eat all the soup in one meal. But if I intend to keep leftovers, I cook my rice on the side and keep it separate from the soup. 

How Do I Cook Rice In Soup?

If your recipe calls for rice, simply follow the recipe. It should account for the extra liquid and cooking time needed for rice. Most recipes instruct you to make the soup and add your rice shortly before the soup is done. 

I don’t often follow recipes when I make soup, so I cook rice and soup this way: 

  1. I cook my meat in a large pot with a bit of oil. I remove the cooked meat and set it aside.
  2. Then, I saute onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in a small amount of oil. 
  3. I add in the cooked meat and one cup of broth. I add frozen vegetables as well.
  4. I add seasonings and let the ingredients simmer for 20 minutes. 
  5. I add two more cups of water or broth when the vegetables are almost cooked.
  6. Once that boils, I add one-half cup of rinsed rice.
  7. I let my soup and rice simmer for 30-45 minutes. 

I make beef, chicken, or vegetable soup following this same process. I love creatively using leftovers in my fridge or freezer.  

Can You Cook Rice In Soup Instead Of Water?

You can cook rice in soup instead of water. Cooking rice in soup makes it flavorful and soft. If you want to cook your rice in soup, plan for it to soak up almost all the liquid. You’ll end up with a risotto-like dish rather than soup. But that might be perfect! 

How Do You Keep Rice From Getting Mushy In Soup?

Rice will get mushy if you leave it in your soup. There are a few ways to help keep rice from getting too mushy:

  1. Don’t cook your rice for too long–cook it until it’s tender.
  2. Parboil your rice in water for 10 minutes, then add it to your soup. It won’t absorb as much liquid if you add it partially cooked.
  3. Use fully cooked rice. Cooked rice still absorbs less liquid than uncooked rice and won’t get as mushy. 
  4. Use long-grain or brown rice rather than short or medium-grain rice. Long-grain rice stays firmer, even in soup.

When Should I Add Rice To Soup?

Add cooked rice 15 minutes before your soup finishes cooking. This short time is enough for the rice to absorb flavors in the broth. It will also warm to the temperature of the soup. 

Add uncooked rice 30-45 minutes before your soup finishes cooking. Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. Add brown rice 45 minutes before your soup is finished. White rice takes up to 30 minutes to cook, so add it half an hour before your soup is ready. 

Basmati rice cooks quickly, so I add it 20 minutes before my soup is done. I don’t enjoy mushy rice, so I monitor my soup closely after adding rice to ensure it doesn’t overcook. 

Do You Rinse Rice Before Adding It To Soup?

Yes, you should rinse rice before adding it to soup. Rinsing rice helps remove excess starch. It also helps prevent rice grains from sticking together as they cook. 

I rinse my rice under running water for 30 seconds. I use a small metal kitchen strainer and move the rice grains back and forth underneath the water. 

Washing the rice in a strainer with a logo of fooducopia in the lower right side of the image.

You could also soak the rice for 20-30 minutes before you add it to your soup. Soaking rice allows it to absorb moisture before you cook it. It also helps remove excess starch. 

My Favorite Way To Add Rice To Soup

I make two favorite soups to pair with rice: chicken soup and tomato soup. Chicken and rice soup is a classic combination, but it’s still one of my favorites. Tomato soup with rice may seem strange, but I love the taste and texture. 

Here’s How I Add Rice To My Favorite Soups

I prefer to cook my rice and my soup separately. I usually make big pots of soup to have leftovers, and I don’t want my rice to get mushy. 

I cook my soup according to the recipe. I start my rice in my rice cooker when I have an hour left on my soup. After cooking both dishes, I add a half cup of rice to my soup bowl. Then, I ladle my soup over. I mix them and enjoy. 

Cooked brown rice in a bowl with a logo of fooducopia in the lower right side of the image.

One advantage of cooking your rice and soup separately is variety. If people in your household prefer different types of rice, you can cook several kinds to add to your soup. If you enjoy leftovers like I do, you can add a new type of rice each time you eat soup! One day, enjoy it with white rice, and the next day with brown rice

Final Thoughts

Soup with rice in clear bowl with a logo of fooducopia in the lower right side of the image.

You can quickly cook rice in your favorite soups. Rinse your rice, then add it 30-45 minutes before the soup is done. If you prefer, you can add cooked rice to your soup. It won’t get mushy like uncooked rice will. 

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