How To Make Lidia’s Lentil and Rice Soup Recipe at Home

Soup is one of the most loved foods to eat during the colder months of the year, as it’s savory, warming, and delicious. The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing a type of soup to make, as there are so many to choose from. Some of the most popular choices are potato, broccoli and cheese, chicken noodle, tomato, and even vegetable beef, among others.

If you’re a fan of lentil soup, then chances are you’re always looking for new recipes. Experimenting with different recipes can help you find the perfect one, so you’ll never need to search for another lentil soup recipe again. Here is Lidia’s lentil and rice soup recipe, which is quite popular due to its delicious taste. You’ll likely fall in love with it right away and want to make it each time you crave lentil soup.

Is Lidia’s Lentil and Rice Soup Healthy?

Depending on the type of diet that you may be on, Lidia’s lentil and rice soup is very healthy. Not only is it high in protein as well as fiber, but it also has plenty of iron in it, in addition to vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and more.

So, whether you’re on a special diet or a regular one, this lentil and rice soup will likely complement your diet quite well. Lidia’s lentil and rice soup recipe is great for people suffering from constipation, too, because the high levels of fiber that it contains can contribute to the evacuation of the bowels.

Are There Ways to Make the Soup Healthier?

The soup is relatively healthy the way it is, but if you want it even healthier, then you could add whole grain rice and even low-fat cheese. However, if you use whole grain rice instead of long grain, then the cooking time will need to be adjusted, or you could pre-cook the rice, for better results.

Can I Lose Weight and Eat This Soup?

Lidia’s lentil and rice soup can definitely help you to lose weight. Again, it’s high in fiber, and fiber can make you feel full, minimizing your chances of overeating. To lose weight while eating this soup, it’s a good idea to eat salad or some other healthy, low fat and low calorie food to accompany it. If you eat bread, biscuits, crackers, etc., it might not be conducive to weight loss. Everyone knows that an over abundance of carbs isn’t good for weight loss. However, if you absolutely must have some type of bread with your lentil and rice soup, then you should be fine as long as you limit it.

Is it Difficult to Make Lidia’s Lentil and Rice Soup?

There are several steps to making this soup recipe, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult. As long as you take your time, ensuring that you follow each step exactly as stated, then you will be very unlikely to make a mistake that can’t be fixed. If you’ve never made soup before, then just take a deep breath and have fun. Once you’re done making it, you’re bound to be very satisfied with yourself and your ability to make this delectable soup.

Should This Soup Be Served for Lunch or Dinner?

This lentil and rice soup can be served for either lunch or dinner, and when you serve it completely depends on your preferences. Some people enjoy serving it for lunch with a sandwich, while others prefer to serve it for dinner before the main course. This soup is very hearty and filling, so if you’re serving it before the main course, you might want to serve it in cup-size instead of bowls.

Will Making Variations Change the Taste of the Soup?

If you decide to make variations in this recipe, as long as the substitutions or omissions are slight, then there shouldn’t be a change in the flavor. However, if you make some major variations, then the taste of the soup could change significantly. For instance, if you omit the tomatoes, then there really aren’t any other vegetables that taste similar to them, so your soup will taste completely different. If you absolutely must make a change or variation in the recipe due to food allergies or sensitivities, then hopefully, you can still make the soup so that it tastes as delicious as possible.

Lidia’s Lentil and Rice Soup Recipe


  • Four ounces of pancetta, cut into small pieces
  • Four cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
  • One-quarter cup of extra-virgin olive oil, and slightly more to use as drizzle
  • Two medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Two celery stalks, cut into small pieces
  • One small onion, cut into chunks
  • Two cups of loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves, from one bunch
  • One 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, hand-crushed
  • Two fresh bay leaves
  • Sixteen ounces of brown lentils, rinsed
  • One tablespoon of kosher salt
  • One cup of long-grain rice
  • One cup of freshly-grated granta padano, to top the soup when serving


Add the pancetta and garlic to a food processor and process until it becomes a smooth pestata. Then add the olive oil to a large Dutch oven and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the pancetta pestata once the oil is hot. Cook and stir for approximately five minutes.

Using the food processor without washing it out, place the carrots, onion, parsley, and celery and process to concoct a vegetable pestata that is slightly chunky. Once the pancetta is done, add the second pestata to the pot and stir occasionally. It should take about five minutes for it to dry out, which is exactly what you want.

Next, add the tomatoes to the pot and rinse out the can with water before adding the water as well. Add the bay leaves and about four quarts of cold water and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, simmer it rapidly, ensuring that you leave it uncovered. The idea is to reduce the soup by approximately one quarter. This enhances the flavor, so you should continue to rapidly simmer the soup for about an hour.

Next, add the lentils and cook for about 15 – 20 minutes without changing the heat. Add the salt and rice, and stir thoroughly. Simmer the rice until it’s al dente, and be sure not to overcook, as the soup will continue to cook while you’re serving it. The soup will be very thick and full of flavor. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Add a drizzle of olive oil and then sprinkle some grated cheese on top. Enjoy!

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