Lentil, rice and bok choy soup

Made with brown lentils, brown basmati rice, carrots, celery and bok choy, this one-pot soup is a complete healthy meal in a bowl. One serving will give you all the plant protein and phytonutrients that you need.

Bok choy is a leafy Chinese cabbage that tastes like a fusion of celery, spinach and mild peppery cabbage. It is also called pak choi. When added in the last minutes of soup-making, as in this recipe, it preserves its fine crispy texture. You can also pan fry it and add it to the soup.

Like other green leafy vegetables, bok choy is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. It’s a tasty cruciferous vegetable that can help promote health and prevent disease. If you haven’t been getting your greens lately, think about adding bok choy to your next meal. It’s a nice change from spinach or kale.



Makes one big pot. Serves 8 or more.


  • 3 tablespoons (tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 cooking onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper (red or green) , seeds removed and diced small
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 11/2 cups celery, diced small
  • 11/2 cups carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 1 rosemary sprig or 1 teaspoon (tsp) dry
  • Mineral salt, a few pinches or to taste
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1/3 cup rice (I use brown basmati)
  • 1/2 tsp powdered cumin
  • 1 tsp mild or sweet powdered paprika
  • 6-7 cups vegetable stock, ( I use homemade, but a good quality store-bought kind is also good)
  • 2-4 cups of water (can add more later)
  • 2 tbsps soya sauce
  • Add last: Fresh bok choy, rinsed, sliced in two parts or chopped (as desired)
  • Cracked pepper, to taste
Brown lentils and brown basmati rice


Prepare, measure and dice all ingredients, having them ready to go.

Rinse brown lentils and rice together in a fine-meshed sieve and set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat up the olive oil over medium-high heat. Lower heat, add the onion, jalapeño and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes until soft.

Add the carrots, celery and rosemary. Add salt. Cook stirring often for 6-7 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add a bit of water if it sticks.

Add the lentils and rice together and toss with wooden spoon to blend the ingredients. 

Add the cumin, paprika and toss gently. Cook for 2-3 minutes, tossing regularly so that ingredients and flavours merge.

Add the veggie stock and mix. Add some water (start with 2 cups, can add more later). Add the soya sauce. Raise the heat and bring to the boil, then reduce heat immediately. Allow to simmer with lid half on for 30-40 minutes, or until the rice and lentils are soft and cooked. Stir the soup from time to time. Add more water if you prefer a more fluid soup (it does get thicker).

Add the amount of bok choy that you need and cook/simmer for a minute or more and to your liking. Alternatively, you can pan fry the bok choy. Transfer to individual bowls immediately. Season with cracked pepper.

Refrigerate leftover soup in a sealed container. It keeps well for several days.


Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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