The trick is to sauté the vegetables until they’re golden and softened and to sprinkle some cayenne for warmth. Simmering the soup for a good ten minutes allows the flavors of the meat and vegetables to develop into that recognizable, heady aroma of a stew. Cook, relax and enjoy!

What you'll need: ½ cup basmati rice 5 oz yellow onion 2 garlic cloves 2–3 oz celery 8 oz green bell pepper 6 oz ham steak ¼ tsp cayenne pepper 1 can kidney beans 8 oz chicken broth ½ oz fresh parsley olive oil coarse salt freshly ground black pepper

Equipment: small saucepan medium pot

Recipe steps: 1. Cook rice Rinse rice in a fine-mesh sieve until water runs clear. Combine rice, ¾ cup water, and a pinch salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 15 minutes.

  1. Prep ingredients Peel and finely chop onion and garlic. Finely chop celery. Remove core and seeds from bell pepper and finely chop. Cut ham steak into ½-inch cubes.

  2. Sauté Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium pot over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, celery and bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until just starting to brown, 5–7 minutes.

  3. Brown ham Add ham steak and cayenne pepper and cook until ham is browned, about 3 minutes.

  4. Finish soup Stir in kidney beans and their liquid, the chicken broth, and ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and simmer until flavors meld, 10 minutes.

  5. Combine Remove parsley leaves from stems and roughly chop. Divide rice between bowls and ladle soup over the top. Top with parsley. Enjoy!