This vegan lemon rice soup is hearty goodness in a bowl! It's warm, comforting and naturally vegan, and it packs a nutritional punch for the perfect cozy dinner.
If you've been here before, you probably know by now how much I love soups. From a hearty red lentil potato soup with lemon to a quick but delicious vegan wild rice and mushroom soup I make in the Instant Pot, it's safe to say I'm a soup addict.
When the weather turns cold (which in Scotland can be any day, to be honest), there's nothing like a warm, hearty bowl of soup to make you feel good. This vegan lemon rice soup is one of my favourites because it's easy to make, loaded with veggies, and super satisfying.
It's a naturally vegan recipe that you can probably whip up on the spot with some very simple ingredients you may already have in your pantry or fridge.
This lemon rice soup with white beans is just the best year-round, and it has the perfect balance of lemony, garlicky and herby flavours. I serve it with croutons or some warm, crusty bread that's great for dipping.
What do you need to make this soup?
Besides the obvious ingredients that go in a vegan soup, like onion, celery, carrots, and other veggies, this lemon rice soup also contains cannellini beans, lots of lemon juice, and arborio rice.
This is a rather creamy lemon rice soup, but you don't have to puree it at the end to achieve that texture. I love my soups chunky and creamy at the same time, and for this soup, I achieve the perfect texture by pureeing a tin of cannellini beans in a blender before adding it to the soup.
The pureed beans plus the starch from the rice give this soup a velvety texture without depriving you of the lovely chunks of veggies. It is soup perfection, indeed!
I use garlic, lemon juice, and a mix of fresh thyme and rosemary to flavor the soup. You can play with the herbs as you want, adding oregano, basil, or a mix of Italian herbs if you want.
How do you make lemon rice soup?
Start by sauteeing the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic into a large soup pot or a Dutch oven. Next, add the fresh herbs and some dry chilli flakes for a bit of a kick.
Stir in the pureed tin of cannellini beans and the other tin of drained cannellini beans. Add the rice, salt, vegetable stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is almost cooked.
Finish the soup by stirring in the lemon juice and baby spinach and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
How do you serve this soup?
This is a hearty soup with rice in it, so a bowl typically fills me up quickly, but I still like to serve it with some croutons or crusty bread on the side. This way, it's a full meal that will keep you satisfied for hours.
Serve the soup with extra lemon wedges on the side, or simply add some extra lemon juice to each bowl. You can also drizzle a bit of olive oil when serving the soup.
Tips for making the best lemon rice soup
- Arborio rice works great here because it's starchy and will add to the creaminess of the soup. You can substitute it with basmati rice or long grain rice if you want.
- Only add the lemon juice at the end, together with the spinach, as cooking it for too long will diminish the flavour.
- Make the soup even heartier by adding one or two potatoes with the rice.
- You can substitute the cannellini beans with chickpeas if you want, following the same process for the pureed ones.
- If you don't have fresh herbs, dried substitutes work just as well.
- The soup will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days. The rice will continue to absorb liquid as the soup sits, so expect it to be much thicker by the time you eat the leftovers.
If you liked this vegan lemon rice soup, you might also like some of these other vegan soup recipes:
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins cannellini beans, one of them pureed
- 200 g (7 oz) Arborio rice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 litre (5 cups) vegetable stock
- 2-3 bay leaves
- Juice of one lemon
- 100 g (3.5 oz) fresh baby spinach
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Add the contents of one tin of cannellini beans to a blender, liquid included, and blend for a minute until smooth. Set it aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium meat and saute the onion for 3-4 minutes until it softens.
- Add the garlic, carrot and celery, and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes. Stir in the thyme, rosemary, and chilli flakes and cook for another minute.
- Next, stir in the pureed cannellini beans and the other tin of drained cannellini beans. Add the rice, salt, vegetable stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is almost cooked.
- Stir in the lemon juice and baby spinach and cook for another 3-5 minutes and season to taste. Serve the soup as is or with crusty bread on the side.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1351mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 15gSugar: 4gProtein: 23g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.