Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup

4.98 from 48 votes

This Lemon Rice Soup recipe is my most popular soup recipe! It's warm and comforting but also a vegan nutrition-rich meal with a lemony broth

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When the weather gets colder, there’s nothing like a warm hearty bowl of soup to satisfy your hunger and make you feel good all around! This Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup is one of those comforting soup recipes that’s so easy to make, loaded with vegetables and keeps you feeling full and satiated. You can easily make it with very simple ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge!

This Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup served in two bowls

Why I love this recipe

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. That 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!

A hearty and comforting vegetarian rice soup recipe

Now, it can’t just be broth and vegetables, because it’s just not yummy or sustainable. Instead load it up with vegetables and add a zing of flavor that makes you want more, like in my Lemon Rice Soup. The zing in the soup is the lemon. The lemon is very refreshing and an appetite stimulant (hello diet-friendly soup!), making that zucchini, carrots and celery taste even better.

How to make lemon rice soup

Start with 4 simple everyday ingredients: onions, carrots, celery and frozen garlic. Then, cook the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper until they slightly soften.

chopped vegetables in a pot

Next, add the seasoning and the broth and the zucchini with a couple bay leaves.

And then add the short grain white rice to the broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the rice gets tender and fluffy. If you prefer, you can use brown rice, or you can even make this grain-free by using potatoes instead. If you’re looking for low carb or a keto-friendly solution, I recommend adding yellow squash and/or cauliflower rice. It will make it more hearty and filling.

Broth added to the pot

The best part of this lemon rice soup recipe is that it’s vegetarian – well, vegan actually – and it uses simple everyday ingredients you can easily throw in a pot to make the recipe. 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 mighty snowy day!

Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup served in a white bowl

Tips for making lemon rice soup

  • Cook it quicker by using leftover rice and reduce the simmer time to only 10 minutes.
  • Use your own vegetable broth. To make homemade vegetable broth, just place the vegetable scraps of the outer layers of the carrots and onions, and the end pieces of the celery along with bay leaves and other herbs in a pot. As much water as you want and cook it together for 30 minutes.
  • Make the lemon rice soup grain-free by using chopped potatoes instead of rice. If you’re looking for a Whole30 soup, switching the rice for potatoes is the perfect substitution. To make it low-carb or keto-friendly, you can add chopped yellow squash and/or riced cauliflower.
  • Don’t add the lemon juice until you’re done cooking. You might be tempted to just throw everything in a pot at once. But definitely wait on the lemon juice until the soup is cooked to avoid any bitter taste of the lemon juice simmering for too long.

Frequently asked questions


I like to use a white short-grain rice for this soup recipe, it’s filling and quicker to cook. If you use a whole grain or wild rice you will need to increase the cooking time or cook it before adding it to the pot.


Once you have made the soup, let it cool to room temperature and place in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep well for around 4-5 days and you just need to reheat it on the stovetop. The soup also freezes really well.


This lemon rice soup is a great healthy and filling recipe. It makes six servings and each serving is around 130 calories. If you serve it with some crusty bread, I won’t judge you!

For more soup recipes, check out:

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup

This Lemon Rice Soup recipe is my most popular soup recipe! It's warm and comforting but also a vegan nutrition-rich meal with a lemony broth
5 from 48 votes
Servings 6 servings
Course Soup
Calories 131
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots halved lengthwise and finely sliced
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 32 oz low-sodium vegetable broth I like [url href=”” target=”_blank”]Pacific[/url]
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 zucchini small diced
  • 1/2 cup short-grain rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ⅛ 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 covered 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.



Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 4-5 days in the fridge.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Instead of short grain rice, you can use long-grain rice or brown rice. If you’re using brown rice, be sure to add an extra 25 minutes to the cooking time though. You can also use potatoes, riced cauliflower, celery root or chopped zucchini for some grain free and/or low carb options.
  • If you don’t have oregano, feel free to use thyme, parsley, cilantro or other herbs.
Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition value is for one serving without the grilled cheese on the side 😉


Serving: 1g, Calories: 131kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 3g, Sodium: 79mg, Potassium: 377mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 3550IU, Vitamin C: 9.5mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1.3mg

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Top down shot of Lemon Rice Soup in bowls

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Recipe Rating


  1. This was really delicious. After an afternoon in the fridge most of the liquid was gone though – what do you do about that?

  2. Loved the base of this recipe! Instead of the zucchini, I added some broccoli florets in the last 5 minutes of cooking and it came out perfectly (nothing is worse than mushy broccoli!). I also used brown rice opposed to white rice, and added 1/2 a cup of green lentils to boost the amount of iron and protein (I rinsed and added the dry rice and lentils together). As suggested in the notes, I simmered everything covered for 25 minutes and everything cooked exactly as I hoped! This will be a staple for weekday lunches. Thank you!

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