IMPORTANT! Always use great caution when puréeing hot liquids. If you have time, allow the soup to cool before blending. Never fill the container more than half full. Cover the lid with a folded kitchen towel and hold it in place before you turn on the blender. The initial surge of the blender's contents can cause the lid to pop open, possibly scalding you if it's still hot, and certainly making a mess of your kitchen.
Melt the butter or oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, bay leaf, parsley, and rice. Cook to soften the onion, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the spices, ½ teaspoon salt, and some pepper and cook 5 minutes longer. Add the water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, make the relish by mixing all the ingredients together.
Remove the bay leaf from the soup. Puree the soup leaving just a bit of texture. Serve in bowls and top with a spoonful of onion relish. (Recipe♦243)