Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup
If you’re dieting in the new year, whatever diet you’re following probably has some soup suggestions for you. And you’re probably thinking that soups for weight loss might just be another common factor of fad diets. But it is so for a reason…it works! I’m not a dietitian, but I know the contents that go into the soup recipes I make, and I know how full I feel after a serving of soup, whether it’s the main meal or a precursor to dinner. The truth is the composition of soup is mostly liquid which helps you feel fuller faster, thereby reducing your appetite for more food or reducing your caloric intake all together. And when you load that soup up with vegetables, it’s a win/win situation! Now, it can’t just be broth and vegetables, because it’s just not yummy or sustainable. Instead load it up with vegetables but add a zing of flavor that makes you want more, like in my Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup.
The zing in the Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup in the lemon. The lemon is very refreshing and an appetite stimulant, making that zucchini, carrots and celery taste even better. I also try to make my soups hearty by adding some type of grain or carb, in this case short-grain white rice. You can also add one small potato diced up really small to bulk up the soup and make it more filling, if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. I’m calling it a vegetarian soup, but it’s also vegan and uses simple everyday ingredients you can easily whip up. What I like to do is make a huge pot and enjoy it for lunch 3 times during the week and freeze the rest for a snowy day like today in New England!
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- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and finely sliced
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 32 oz low-sodium vegetable broth (I like Pacific)
- 4 cups of water
- 1 zucchini, small diced
- 1/2 cup short-grain rice
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables are soft.
- Add the oregano, salt and pepper and stir.
- Pour the vegetable broth and water and bring to a boil.
- Stir in the zucchini, rice and bay leaf. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes until rice is fluffy and cooked through.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in as much of the lemon juice as you'd like.