Lemon Lentil Rice Soup


Grace Vance

With December finally here, everyone seems to be setting up their Christmas lights, playing holiday tunes and burrowing themselves in puffy coats. When I find myself faced with winter’s blistery winds and dropping temperatures, I always turn to one of my favorite cold-weathered meals: soup. Hot, steamy soups like my hearty Lemon Lentil Rice Soup is sure to warm you up during the start of a long, bitter winter.
I feel like I almost forgot about how much I love lemon based soups. I love how the bold and perky lemon in this recipe perfectly balances the nutty rice and lentils. It really creates such a nice flavor, and with added accents of garlic and parsley, this is both a hydrating and flavorful way to stay warm.
Dig in…
photo by Grace Vance
This recipe is easy to throw together if you add in pre-made rice, chickpeas and lentils, but I personally love cooking them together in the broth so that the flavors infuse as they cook. To make this dish more of your own, feel free to add more veggies like carrots, celery or even leeks.
Lemon Lentil Rice Soup
serves 4-6
½ cup dry lentils, rinsed (I have found that French Green lentils hold their shape the best after cooking. No mush)
¼ cup dry chickpeas (If dried, soak overnight. If canned, rinse and add to recipe)
1 cup dry rice, rinsed
1 medium sized russet potato, chopped
1 small onion, diced
4-5 cups vegetable broth (depending on how liquidy or thick you like your soup)
2-3 medium lemons, juiced (½ cup total)
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp fine black pepper
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped

  1. If preparing your rice, chickpeas and lentils beforehand, be sure to have soaked your chickpeas in water overnight. To cook: Combine rice, lentils and soaked and drained chickpeas to a large pot with 3 cups water. Bring to boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low-medium, cover with lid and let simmer for 30-45 minutes or until tender.
  2. If you are choosing to cook the rice and legumes with the rest of the soup ingredients, rinse them now and set aside.
  3. In another large pot, simmer the onions and garlic on medium heat with a splash of water. Add garlic the last few minutes of cooking. You will know it’s done when the onions look translucent.
  4. While the onion and garlic is cooking, chop the potato and juice the lemons. Set aside until the onion is done cooking, then add to pot.
  5. When the rice and legumes are tender, add them into the pot with the vegetables and pour desired amount of broth in along with the lemon juice and spices. If you are going to cook the rice and legumes in with the rest of the ingredients, add them in now.
  6. Allow this to come to a boil, then let simmer with lid on for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes (and rice/legume mixture) are tender and the flavors come together. Lastly, add the chopped parsley.

Although this is a lovely soup to enjoy during winter, it can really be eaten any day of the year! This could easily be a dish perfect for spring with it’s bright lemon flavor. And if you have never tried lemon in soup before, I am sure this recipe will leave you pleasantly surprised.