Iced Lemon and Wild Rice Soup

It’s still summer, it’s still nice and warm, and I’m hanging on to the season as long as possible.

The calendar says September, and the humidity has broken here in the Green Mountain state. But it’s still summer in my book and that means chilled soups and anything lemon!

Pat’s Iced Lemon Soup

I had tucked away in the back of my mind an iced lemon soup that my mother-in-law Pat used to make. Her version used cream, chicken stock, a bunch of egg yolks, lemon juice concentrate, and cooked white rice. It was delicious with a strong lemon flavor and lovely texture from the rice, but I wouldn’t want to count the cholesterol grams in this one!

Trading secrets

In her repertoire, she also had the Old Drovers Inn Iced Lemon Soup recipe, which had even more egg yolks! A restauranter herself, I’m sure she traded this recipe with the chef!

      I needed to lighten this up and make it more consumer friendly for the whole family with its various dietary needs, but it still needed to taste delightfully refreshing.

A few swaps

I replaced the cream with coconut milk, one of my favorite swaps. I used the vegetable trimmings to make a quick vegetable stock, and I omitted the egg yolks altogether, using a potato to thicken. The absence of the yolks meant the soup was not yellow, but even paler in appearance, it was just as refreshing.

Wild rice is a favorite ingredient, and for good reason. The chewy texture and nutty flavor enhance casseroles, stuffing, soups, salads, and any number of other dishes. It’s really good for you too, high in fiber and protein, it is low in carbs and gluten free! I used the wild rice to replace the regular rice, and increased the amount slightly.

Some like it hot…

My granddaughter and I tried this hot, room temperature, and chilled. I liked it best chilled, she liked it best room temperature. We both agreed the flavors were much better the more it sat, so we would even recommend making this the day before as Pat did in her original recipe. When first made, the lemon flavor was more pronounced; the longer it sat, the more balanced everything tasted. My grandson tasted it chilled and said he wanted it hot! So, serve it whatever way you like!

Homemade stock, please

I recommend making your own stock with the directions below. It takes no time to toss the veggie trimmings in a pan to make a quick stock rather than toss them in the compost bucket! Also, if you are using scraps from veggies the recipe, the flavors will be repeated and enhanced. Of course, you can use packaged, or even no-salt added vegetable bouillon cubes of choice if you like, just not something with too strong a flavor.

I used full-fat coconut milk here, but you could always use the light.

Iced Lemon and Wild Rice Soup

Makes 12 cups

  • ½ cup wild rice (1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 tbsp. butter or vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 bulbs fennel, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 starchy potato, diced
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • Salt and lots of pepper

Cook wild rice according to package directions, usually between 40-45 minutes. You will end up with about 1 ½ cups cooked. When done, it will still have a chewy consistency. Set aside.

Prep your veggies while rice is cooking. If making your own stock, simply place all the scraps ––dark green leek trimmings and fennel stalks, core, and fronds ––in a large pot and add water, a bay leaf, and a teaspoon of fennel seeds. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Strain.

Sauté your leeks, fennel, and celery in the butter and olive oil a large skillet. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking until they soften, adding the garlic after a few minutes. You want them to soften and just barely start to get a little color on the edges. Immediately deglaze with the wine.

Add the diced potato and the stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes have softened.

Purée using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor, working in batches if using the latter two.

Return to the pan, off heat, and add the lemon juice and zest, coconut milk, and reserved wild rice. Taste and correct seasoning. I like this with lots and lots of pepper, but you might not, so season to your own tastes.

Serve chilled, room temperature, or hot, and garnish with more lemon zest or croutons. If chilled, use a chilled bowl as well, and if hot, warm your bowls! It makes a difference.

Iced Lemon Soup
You can serve this hot as well! Croutons add a nice crunch.

From the vintage family recipe box:

Pat Read’s Iced Lemon Soup

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • 5 tbsp. lemon concentrate
  • 1 tsp. Accent
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup cooked rice for garnish

Heat stock and cream in a double boiler, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add cornstarch. Cook until thick, over low heat. Add eggs and remaining ingredients, stirring briskly. Let soup cool, then chill overnight. Serves 8.

© Copyright 2020– or current year, The New Vintage Kitchen. Unattributed use of this material is strictly prohibited. Reposting and links may be used, provided that credit is given to The New Vintage Kitchen, with  active link and direction to this original post. The New Vintage Kitchen does not accept ads or payment for mention of products or businesses.

Member of Slow Food


  1. Linda says:

    Sounds like a delicious soup! Thanks for sharing your healthier version! 😊

    1. You’re welcome Linda! I like to try to remake these family recipes into a form that everyone can eat, but still taste delicious!

  2. sounds and looks incredible!!

    1. Thank you! It was popular all around!

  3. looks yummy

    1. Thank you! It was quite tasty!

  4. Angela says:

    Sounds so refreshing… somewhat like the Greek Avgolemono soup. I love lemon in almost anything.

    1. Thanks! I love lemons too, in just about any form!

  5. I can practically taste the snapshots. 🍁🍂🌾

    1. That’s a wonderful compliment! Thank you!

  6. How unusual, and it sounds so good! I love that you and your granddaughter tasted it hot, cold and room temperature, what a treat!

    1. It was really fun. We made the soup together and had lots of fun doing so. She is quite a foodie-in-progress, and enjoys the kitchen immensely! It’s great to have a second, and third, opinion when I’m creating something new.

  7. How refreshing.

    1. Thank you, it really was! The wonder of lemon.

  8. I’ve never heard of this soup before but I’ll definitely make it now, it sounds wonderful!

    1. Thanks! If you like lemon, you’ll love this!

  9. Karen says:

    We will have hot weather here in Florida for another month or so and this soup sounds like a refreshing one to try.

    1. I think it would be perfect for your climate! Lemons are so refreshing!

  10. Hasin says:

    I miss my grandmother reading about your kitchen ventures with your grandmother. This soup sounds refreshing and I love the fact that you actually contributed some lemony notes to every sip of this soup. Gorgeous!

    1. Thank you so much! Grandmothers are so important in our lives.

Comments are closed.