Brown Rice, Lentil, and Spinach Soup

August 1, 2013

Upstate New York has had a reprieve from really hot weather for the last week or so; it’s actually been under 60 degrees at night! Don’t misunderstand – I love warm weather. But I also love leaving the house windows open, feeling the fresh air, not shutting the house up and running the air conditioner constantly. The cooler evening weather has me thinking about warming supper food like soups and braises (and I’m eating some soup from my freezer for lunch as I type this), so today I’m sharing a recipe that I made back in the spring. I think I made this soup while I was eating gluten-free during Lent, so for anyone who needs to stay gluten-free for health reasons, this is a tasty option!

I found this recipe in one of the back-issues of Saveur magazine online, and it appealed to me immediately because it’s a whole meal in a bowl: just add crusty bread or wheat crackers on the side. It’s got Italian sausage, mirepoix, lentils, brown rice, and spinach. Full of fiber and protein! Delicious and healthy. This recipe makes a lot of soup too, so make sure you have a large enough pot. The directions call for a 5 quart pot, but I used my 7 quart Dutch oven and found that it was a good size; I could stir everything without having to worry about splashing over the sides. :) Make it on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll have lunchtime leftovers for a week!

Brown rice, lentil, and spinach soup

Serves 6-8


  • 1/2  pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/4  cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2  carrots, finely chopped
  • 2  ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1  large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1  teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2  teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4  teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12  cups chicken broth
  • 1  cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 3/4  cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2  pound spinach, coarsely chopped


  1. Remove sausage from its casings. Heat oil in a 5- to 7-quart pot over medium-high heat; add sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up into small pieces, until browned, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a plate.
  2. Add carrots, celery, and onions, along with cumin, thyme, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 10–15 minutes. Add reserved sausage, chicken broth, rice, and lentils and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until rice and lentils are soft, about 45 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Serve.


  1. Wow what mouth-watering ideas you have on here. I’m particularly fond of spinach myself and am always looking for delicious yet healthful ideas. Check out this blog for a spectacular breakfast idea… http://68anda6pack.com/2013/06/25/the-turbocharged-popeye-breakfast/ … Tasty stuff that I now regularly use for my pre-workout meals. Just thought I’d share. :)

    • Thank you so much for sharing your post! I usually have not-very-much-time in the mornings, and I am always looking for breakfasts that can be made quickly so I don’t fall into the trap of just eating carbs in the morning. Because even if it’s a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, it’s still mostly carbs. And then I’m hungry again around 10:30. This definitely sounds like an option that would hold me until lunchtime!

      • Yeah it’s surprisingly filling! Let me know how it goes if and when you try. Thanks :)

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