White Bean, Wild Rice & Spinach Soup With Lemon & Dill

If you have the time (it really doesn’t take too much), I highly recommend using dried rather than canned beans for three reasons: it’s cheaper, you control the salt, and most importantly, they just taste better. Having said that, if you are in search of quick dinner and soaking and cooking beans is just out of the question, absolutely don’t worry — canned beans will work just fine. The soup will still be delicious, just replace the one cup of dried beans with 2 – 15 ounce cans of (well) rinsed and drained beans. Also, for this soup, I used a brown and wild rice combination. I like the variety in both color and texture of this mix but again, feel free to use what you have on hand. In fact, this soup is a great place for any leftover grains you may have on hand. When I go to the trouble of cooking a grain that takes a bit longer to cook, I always like to make a little extra. I keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and use it in lunches throughout the week– in a salad, under steamed or stir-fried veggies, or just something to put leftovers on top of.

1 cup dried cannellini beans
½  cup wild rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, diced
3 ribs of celery, diced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (plus additional water)
10 ounces spinach, finely chopped
¼  cup fresh chopped dill
juice of 1/2 lemon

Cook both the beans and rice according to package directions. If you have a pressure cooker, the beans cook nicely and in a matter of minutes. Otherwise consider soaking the night before, discard the soaking liquid, cover with water, bring to a boil and then simmer until just tender.

While the beans and rice are cooking, prep the remaining ingredients.

Over medium high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, celery and salt. Sauté until softened and lightly browned.

Add the broth and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes

Add the rice, beans and spinach. I recommend adding an additional 2 to 3 cups of water to get to the desired soup consistency and simmer for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the dill and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add additional lemon juice if needed.