Lebanese lentil soup

middle eastern lentil soup

Lebanese lentil soup is a popular soup that you will find in Middle Eastern restaurants. It can be very easily made with the regular ingredients found in our pantry. On a cold winter day, this soup is a soul comfort food.

The lentils used in this recipe are usually red lentils, though yellow lentils are also used sometimes. Otherwise, the rest of the ingredients are pretty much the same. A small quantity of rice, usually basmati (though you can use any rice) is also added along with the lentils.

Adding rice is a matter of personal preference. Most recipes I came across do add rice, though the quantity widely varies. I have used just a tbsp, but if you are looking for a filling soup you can go ahead and add 2-4 tbsp of rice.

Similarly, though onions and garlic are definitely used, carrots and celery are not a must for the basic version. Some people even add potatoes. I have not added celery to this soup. For the spices apart from the cumin and pepper, you can add paprika, cayenne, cinnamon etc.

The plain water used for cooking can be replaced by vegetable or chicken stock. You can even add a small quantity of meat if you want to make it non-vegetarian.

I am sticking with the basic version as I like it this way. The soup was absolutely delicious with the tang from the lemon and flavors from the spices and parsley. Do give it a try. The Lebanese lentil soup will definitely become a regular in your house.

O’er to the recipe…

Lebanese lentil soup
The Lebanese lentil soup is very easy to make and is very nutritious and light on the tummy.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 2
Author: Hema Magesh
  • ½ cup red lentils/masoor dal (100g)
  • 1 tbsp basmati rice
  • 1 small sized big onion (60 g)
  • 1 piece carrot(50 g)
  • ½ stick celery(optional)
  • 1 clove garlic(3 g)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar/jaggery
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • parsley for garnishing
  • Wash the lentil and rice and chop the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery finely.
    Lebanese lentil soup preparation steps 1&2
  • In a saucepan heat up the olive oil. Fry the onion and garlic first followed by the vegetables.
  • Next, add the lentils and rice and saute to coat with the oil. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
    Lebanese lentil soup preparation steps 3&4
  • Once it starts boiling add the salt, sugar, pepper, cumin, and turmeric powders and cook till the lentils are done.
    Lebanese lentil soup preparation steps 5&6
  • Mash the mixture using a wooden masher or immersion blender. Adjust spices and add more water as per your required consistency.
    Lebanese lentil soup preparation steps 7&8
  • Turn off the stove when it comes to a boil. Drizzle the juice of half a lemon and garnish with finely chopped parsley leaves.

Hema’s P.S

  • The consistency of the soup is usually semisolid, so add water accordingly.
  • The lentils are generally not mashed completely but are kind of crushed. But if you want a silky smooth soup you can go ahead and blend it smoothly.
  • Celery is considered very good for health. You can go ahead and add more or less as per preference. I generally tend to avoid it as nobody likes celery in our house.
  • Adjust spices to personal preference. Sugar is not generally added, though I add it as it balances and brings out the tanginess effectively.
  • Spring onions or coriander leaves can also be used for garnishing though parsley brings out the Middle Eastern flavor.

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