lentil soup

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Brown Rice and Lentil Soup with Dark Leafy Greens

From the Culinate Kitchen collection by
Serves 6 to 8
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes


I’m a huge fan of meal-in-a-bowl soups and pastas. When I saw a feature on brown rice in Saveur, I was drawn to the recipe that combined so many good ingredients: brown rice, lentils, sausage and vegetables.

My adaptation has become a family favorite, a soup I’ve been known to eat for both lunch and dinner on the same day. If you can’t find spicy chicken sausage, add a pinch of red-pepper flakes. Also, if using Swiss chard, chop up the stems and sauté them with the onions, carrots, and celery.


4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¾ lb. bulk spicy Italian chicken sausage
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. fresh thyme (or ½ tsp. dried)
12 cups water
1 cup sweet brown rice, rinsed
¾ cup green or brown lentils, rinsed
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
10 cups (2 to 3 bunches) loosely packed kale, Swiss chard, and/or spinach, destemmed and coarsely chopped
~ Salt to taste


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking it up into small pieces with the end of a large spoon. Transfer the sausage to a plate and set it aside.
  2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pot and, over medium heat, sauté the onion, carrot, celery, Swiss chard ribs (if using), cumin, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Return the sausage to the pot along with the water, rice, and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for 30 to 45 minutes, until the rice and lentils are tender.
  4. Add the tomato paste, stirring until dissolved, then add the chopped greens and cook until wilted. Season to taste with salt; if too thick, add more water.

This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

There are 5 comments on this item
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40% recommend this recipe
1. by debra daniels-zeller on Jun 3, 2010 at 10:50 AM PDT

I like this recipe but would prefer vegetarian. What seasonings might I add to fill in for the flavors in sausage?

2. by Carrie Floyd on Jun 3, 2010 at 1:38 PM PDT

Try adding oregano, basil, crushed fennel seeds, several cloves of garlic and a big pinch of red pepper flakes.

3. by Renee on Jun 7, 2010 at 12:19 PM PDT

Our Trader Joe’s carries a vegetarian chorizo sausage that I think I might try in it.

4. by debra daniels-zeller on Jun 9, 2010 at 12:01 PM PDT

Thanks for the great suggestions Carrie and Renee!

5. by JeanE23 on Apr 7, 2012 at 8:52 AM PDT

An excellent healthy and nutritious soup, and it makes a ton! I made it without the sausage. For one mealtime, we added in Boca ground crumbles.

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