And of course, there are lentils, which can even stand up to a slow cooker.
Why Wild Rice Soup Is The Best
I adore rice in soup. That’s because it brings back memories of my grandma’s chicken soup when I would request an extra scoop of rice.
As a kid, white rice was my side of choice. No surprise that it took years for me to fall in love with vegetables.
Now I prefer more interesting rice like long grain brown rice and wild rice with its multi-hued neutral palette.
Not to get too technical, but wild rice isn’t actually rice. It is the grain of 4 different kinds of grass that grows in shallow freshwater. (source)
It has a nutty flavor that’s stronger than brown rice. Also, it’s grain has more bite, which is why it pairs so well with lentils in this soup.
Because I include two of my favorite add-ins, this lentil wild rice soup is very filling.
In each spoonful there are lentils and wild rice, but you will also find tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, celery and onions.
It is a kitchen sink / empty the pantry type of recipe in the best way.
Plus it’s a total winter warmer!
The soup is fragrant with minced garlic, cumin, thyme and red pepper flakes.
After it simmers and the rice and lentils are finished cooking, I stir in the juice of a lemon, chopped parsley and baby spinach.
It doesn’t take long for the greens to wilt and for the soup to be ready.
This is what you need to make this lentil rice soup:
Onions: Chopped white onions are the base flavor for the soup.
Celery: Along with the onions, I also saute diced celery.
Carrots: Part of that combination of starter ingredients, I also include carrots with the onions and celery.
Mushrooms: The recipe calls for chopped cremini mushrooms.
Garlic: Three minced garlic cloves may sound like a lot, but it’s the right balance with the vegetables in the tomato broth.
Dried seasonings: The soup is seasoned with a mix of cumin, thyme, red pepper flakes salt and pepper.
Vegetable broth: It’s best to use low-sodium vegetable broth, so you have full control over the seasoning of the soup, especially salt.
Wild rice: I like to try out different brands of wild rice since the blends can vary so much.
Green lentils: The lentils and wild rice simmer together in the soup.
Spinach: Stir the spinach in when it finishes simmer and the leaves will quickly wilt.
Lemon: Lemon juice adds the most wonderful brightness to the soup.
Parsley: For something herby, I add chopped fresh parsley.
How To Make Lentil Wild Rice Soup
First, I heat the olive oil in a large pot. Next, I sauté the chopped onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms.
After about 4 to 5 minutes, the vegetables are soft, so I stir in aromatics including plenty of minced garlic, cumin, dried thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
I give them a minute and then stir in a can of diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, water and wild rice.
Since the wild rice needs more time to cook, I let it simmer for 10 minutes before stirring in the green lentils.
I use an equal amount, 3/4 cup each, of wild rice and lentils because I find that’s the right balance.
If you want your soup to have more liquid, you can definitely make adjustments adding more broth or water. I recommend waiting until the rice and lentils finish cooking since they will absorb some of the liquid.
To finish this vegan lentil wild rice soup, I stir in lemon juice, parsley and spinach.
You can use kale, too, depending what greens you have at home. If it is a sturdier leaf, it will just talk a little longer to wilt.
I can’t say enough about how wonderful and bright soup is with lemon in it!
Soup is another reason, besides salad dressing, pasta and baked goods to keep a couple lemons in your fridge.
This vegan lentil wild rice soup is extra hearty with a mix of onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach to go with the rice and lentils. It’s finished with lemon juice.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms (about 3 ounces)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1–14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
4 cups water
3/4 cup wild rice
3/4 cup green lentils
2 ounces baby spinach
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Then sauté the onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms until they start to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook for another minute until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes, vegetable broth, water and wild rice.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lentils and continue simmering for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked and the lentils are tender.
Stir in the baby spinach, lemon juice and parsley letting the spinach wilt.