With fall upon us and root veggies in abundance, this comforting and rich soup is perfect for any weeknight meal. Hearty Lentil Rice Soup is very versatile as the recipe on it’s own is vegan (if vegetable broth is used). However if you’re a meat eater, the addition of *chicken makes this soup hearty and delicious.
Hearty Lentil Rice Soup
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 medium parsnip, peeled and finely diced (optional- fresh parsnips add a lovely flavor but can be omitted)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely diced
3 Tbs. uncooked white rice (this serves as a thickener- brown rice will not break down like the white rice does)
2 Tbs. minced garlic
1 tsp herbes de Provence or dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground white or black pepper
Stir all ingredients together in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
Remove 1.5 cups soup and puree in a blender until almost smooth. Stir pureed soup back into the slow cooker. (This may not be necessary depending on how finely the vegetables were diced. I often omit this step as the soup breaks down quite a bit on its own)
* Chicken options:
Add shredded rotisserrie chicken into the pot about an hour before serving
Add uncooked bone-in chicken breast into the soup along with the other ingredients. Take out the chicken, remove from bone and add meat back to soup before serving.
Although I’m not a huge fan myself, one can always add canned or frozen pre-cooked chicken to this soup.