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Winter Three-Grain Soup

Patricia Wells tries to begin as many meals as possible with soup. Soup is generally filling, light and low in fat and calories. Certainly this soup is. Most of us who did not grow up eating grains tend to shy away from them. Here's one way to sneak them in.

Plus: More Soup Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 8

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  • 3 medium leeks, white parts only, halved lengthwise and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • Fine sea salt
  • One 14-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes, crushed, juices reserved
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 head of garlic, separated into peeled cloves
  • 1/3 cup brown rice
  • 1/3 cup dark green Puy lentils
  • 1/3 cup wheat berries
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a 4-quart enameled cast-iron casserole, combine the leeks, carrots, olive oil, bay leaves, thyme and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Add the tomatoes with their juices, the water and garlic and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Add the rice, lentils and wheat berries, cover and simmer over low heat until the grains are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Thin with water if needed. Discard the bay leaves, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated for 2 days. Reheat gently and add a little water if necessary.


1 Cup Serving Calories 147 kcal, Total Fat 4.0 gm, Saturated Fat 0.6 gm, Protein 5 gm, Carbohydrates 24 gm.

Suggested Pairing

Although wine is not essential with soup, Patricia Wells almost always opens a bottle anyway. Often it's a red Rhône, like a Côtes-du-Rhône full-bodied Syrah.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published January 2001

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