Prepare rice according to the directions on the package and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot or dutch oven.
Add onions and salt; cook for 1 minute.
Stir in garlic, carrots, celery, peppers, cabbage, and remaining olive oil.
Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and chili powder.
Add bay leaf and stir in tomato paste.
Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
Stir in diced tomatoes; continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil; reduce to medium heat and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat; take out the bay leaf and stir in previously prepared rice.*
Ladle soup into bowls and serve.