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30-Minutes Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe (Rich And Nourishing)

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Embark on a culinary expedition to the heart of the Middle East with our Lebanese Lentil Soup recipe, a delectable blend of tradition and taste. Immerse yourself in the art of Lebanese cooking, as you combine earthy lentils, vibrant vegetables, and an aromatic array of spices. Each step brings you closer to a bowl of rich, flavorful delight, with a hint of lemon adding a zesty twist to this classic dish. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, this recipe invites you to explore, cook, and savor the authentic flavors of Lebanon.

Experience a sensory journey with the Lebanese Lentil Soup recipe, an unrivaled masterpiece in culinary art. Delve into its aromatic depths, surrendering to the allure of earthy lentils delicately balanced by fragrant spices. 

Lebanese lentil soup recipe

Each sip evokes the rich tapestry of Lebanese heritage, whisking you to bustling Beirut markets, where age-old recipes intermingle with contemporary innovation. The soup’s hearty wholesomeness offers nourishment and a heartwarming embrace, soothing the soul. 

Relish this wholesome delicacy, making it a cherished part of your recipe repertoire. Our narrative guides you through mastering this vibrant, soulful creation, promising an unforgettable gastronomic adventure.

What Is Lebanese Lentil Soup?

Lebanese Lentil Soup is a heartwarming, nutrient-packed dish hailing from the culinary traditions of Lebanon. A blend of lentils, usually green or brown, simmers with aromatic spices like cumin, turmeric, and garlic, culminating in a hearty, comforting soup. 

Often, it incorporates vegetables like carrots, onions, and potatoes and is finished with a squeeze of lemon for a bright, acidic lift. This soup is not just a meal. It’s a celebration of Lebanese culture, offering a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine’s warmth and richness.

Lebanese lentil soup recipe

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

The Lebanese Lentil Soup is versatile and can be modified to suit various dietary preferences.

  • Keto Lentils are high in carbs, so they’re not typically included in a ketogenic diet. However, you can still enjoy a similar soup by replacing the lentils with low-carb vegetables like zucchini or cauliflower and adding a source of protein such as chicken or beef.
  • Paleo Lentils aren’t generally considered paleo-friendly, but you could replace them with cubed sweet potatoes or butternut squash, and add some lean meat if desired.
  • Gluten-Free This recipe is naturally gluten-free, so no modifications are needed.
  • Whole30 Lentils are not allowed on the Whole30 diet. You could substitute them with cubed potatoes or compliant sausage.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan The base recipe for Lebanese Lentil Soup is already vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Just make sure all your accompanying ingredients or sides (like bread) also meet these dietary requirements.
Lebanese lentil soup recipe

Recipe Directions

  1. Prepare your ingredients: olive oil, onions, brown lentils, garlic, frozen spinach, dried mint, salt, and lemon juice.
  2. Rinse the lentils under cold water and drain.
  3. Chop the onions and mince the garlic.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large pot over high heat until smoking hot.
  5. Add the chopped onions to the pot and stir until they caramelize and turn dark brown (about 10 minutes).
  6. Add lentils, minced garlic, frozen spinach, and dried mint to the pot.
  7. Pour in water until it’s about 2 inches above the lentil mixture. Stir well to loosen any browned bits of onion from the pot’s bottom.
  8. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Let it simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender (about 20 minutes).
  9. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if the soup becomes too thick.
  10. Salt the soup to taste, then lower the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  11. Serve the hot soup with warm pita bread or a fresh salad. Optionally, drizzle with olive oil or sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.
Lebanese lentil soup recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

The Lebanese Lentil Soup is a flexible recipe that you can easily adapt to fit your taste. Here are some variations, add-ons, and toppings you might consider:

Variations

  • With Different Legumes: You can make the soup with other types of lentils (like red or green) or even different legumes like chickpeas or split peas.
  • With Added Protein: You could add diced chicken or lamb for a non-vegetarian version.
  • With Other Greens: Besides spinach, you can add other greens like kale, chard, or collard greens.

Add-Ons

  • Grains: For extra texture and heartiness, add some cooked grains like quinoa, barley, or rice.
  • Spices: You could add other spices like cumin, coriander, or even a pinch of cayenne for heat.

Toppings

  • Fresh Herbs: Freshly chopped parsley, cilantro, or even dill would add a nice burst of flavor and color.
  • Yogurt: A dollop of plain yogurt or tahini sauce can add a nice creaminess and tang.
  • Nuts: Toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds could add a nice crunch.
  • Additional Lemon: Extra lemon wedges served on the side allow everyone to adjust the tanginess to their liking.
Lebanese lentil soup recipe

Can I Make Lebanese Lentil Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

The Lebanese Lentil Soup is versatile and can be adapted to slow cookers and Instant Pots. Here’s a simple way to do it for each:

Slow Cooker Method

  • In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Once hot, add onions and stir until they begin to caramelize.
  • Transfer the onions to your slow cooker, then add the lentils, minced garlic, frozen spinach, and dried mint. Pour enough water so it’s about 2 inches deeper than the lentil mixture.
  • Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours or on high for about 3-4 hours. If the soup gets too thick, add a bit more water.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, add salt to taste and stir in lemon juice. Serve hot, garnished as desired.

Instant Pot Method

  • Turn your Instant Pot to the sauté setting. Add the olive oil, and once hot, add the onions, stirring until they begin to caramelize.
  • Add the lentils, minced garlic, frozen spinach, and dried mint. Pour enough water so it’s about 2 inches deeper than the lentil mixture.
  • Secure the lid, making sure the valve is set to sealing. Cook on high pressure for about 15 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes, then do a quick release. If the soup is too thick, add a bit more water.
  • Stir in the salt to taste and the lemon juice. Serve hot, garnished as desired.
Lebanese lentil soup recipe

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can certainly use store-bought or homemade broth in your Lebanese Lentil Soup. Both options have their own benefits.

Store-Bought Broth

  • This is a convenient option, especially if you’re short on time. Opt for low-sodium or sodium-free versions to control your soup’s salt level. Also, look for broths without added sugars or unnecessary preservatives.

Homemade Broth

  • Making your own broth allows you to control all the ingredients and flavors. It’s a great way to use up vegetable scraps or leftover bones. You can make it in large batches and store it in the freezer for future use.
Lebanese lentil soup recipe

How To Serve?

Lebanese Lentil Soup can be served as a starter, a light lunch, or a hearty dinner. It’s versatile and pairs well with various dishes. Here are some suggestions:

  • Bread: Serve it with a side of warm pita bread, a common staple in Lebanese cuisine. The bread can be used to scoop up the soup, making for a satisfying and filling meal.
  • Salad: A fresh salad with crisp vegetables provides a nice contrast to the warm, hearty soup. Try a simple Lebanese salad or Fattoush, including lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and toasted pita.
  • Protein: If you want to add more protein to your meal, grilled chicken, lamb, or even tofu would complement the flavors of the soup well.
  • Garnish: Garnish the soup with a dollop of plain yogurt, fresh parsley, or a sprinkle of sumac or paprika. This not only adds to the flavor but also makes the dish more visually appealing.
  • Drinks: Pair it with a glass of mint tea or a white wine like Chardonnay, which can complement the flavors of the soup nicely.
Lebanese lentil soup recipe

Perfect Side Dishes

Lebanese Lentil Soup pairs well with many side dishes, enhancing its flavor profile and providing a balanced meal. Here are some perfect side dishes to complement it:

  • Warm Pita Bread: This is a classic pairing. Pita bread can be used to scoop up the soup, and its mild flavor complements the rich, complex taste of the lentil soup.
  • Fattoush Salad: A Lebanese salad made with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, radish, mint, parsley, sumac, and pieces of fried or baked pita bread. Its fresh, tangy taste provides a nice contrast to the hearty soup.
  • Tabbouleh: This refreshing parsley and bulgur wheat salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and a lemon dressing is another excellent accompaniment.
  • Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolma): These bite-sized appetizers filled with rice and herbs provide a different texture and are a classic part of Lebanese cuisine.
  • Hummus and Veggies: A dish of hummus with raw veggies for dipping, like carrots, bell peppers, or cucumber sticks, can be a delightful, healthy addition.
  • Grilled Halloumi Cheese: This firm, salty cheese holds up well to grilling and can add a satisfying, protein-rich component to the meal.
  • Baba Ganoush: This smoked eggplant dip, served with pita bread or fresh veggies, adds another dimension of flavor.
  • Falafel: These deep-fried chickpea balls provide a crispy contrast to the creamy soup and can be served with a tahini sauce.
Lebanese lentil soup recipe

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Storage: Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat gently on the stove, adding a splash of water or broth if needed to thin it out.
  • Freezing: This soup freezes well. Once cooled, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, leaving some space for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Make Ahead: This soup tastes even better the next day, so it’s perfect for making ahead. Cook as directed, allow it to cool, then refrigerate. Reheat when ready to serve.
Lebanese lentil soup recipe

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Lentil Hummus: Blend the leftover soup until smooth and use it as a base for a unique lentil hummus. Add tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil to taste, and serve with pita chips or vegetable sticks.
  • Lentil Salad: Chill the leftover soup and use it as a dressing for a lentil salad. Mix the soup with cooked grains like quinoa or bulgur, chopped vegetables, and herbs for a refreshing and nutritious dish.
  • Lentil Dip: Use the leftover soup as a dip for bread or crackers. Simply heat it gently on the stove until thickened, and serve warm with your favorite dippers.
  • Lentil Stew: Add additional vegetables, diced cooked chicken or lamb, and spices to the leftover soup to create a hearty lentil stew. Simmer until everything is heated through and flavors are blended.

TIPS

  • Spice Blend: Create a unique spice blend with cumin, coriander, and cinnamon for a rich and aromatic flavor profile.
  • Citrus Twist: Add a splash of lemon juice or a sprinkle of lemon zest right before serving to brighten up the flavors.
  • Texture Contrast: For added texture, reserve some cooked lentils and stir them in towards the end of cooking for a mix of creamy and whole lentils.
  • Herb Infusion: Infuse the soup with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro by adding them just before serving for a burst of fresh flavor.
  • Garnish Galore: Finish the soup with a drizzle of olive oil, a dollop of yogurt, and a sprinkle of sumac for a colorful and flavorful presentation.
  • Veggie Variation: Add diced carrots, celery, or potatoes for a heartier soup with extra nutrients.
30-Minutes Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe (Rich And Nourishing)

30-Minutes Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe (Rich And Nourishing)

0 from 0 votes
Course: Soup Recipes
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

300

kcal

Lebanese Lentil Soup is a warming, hearty, delicious, and nutritious dish. It combines brown lentils, spinach, and a medley of aromatic seasonings to create a comforting soup and full of flavor. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Olive Oil

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Onions, Chopped

  • 1 pound 1 Brown Lentils

  • 3 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced

  • 16 ounce 16 Frozen Whole Leaf Spinach

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Dried Mint, Crushed

  • Salt (To Taste)

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 Lemon Juice

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Gather your ingredients: olive oil, onions, brown lentils, garlic, frozen spinach, dried mint, salt, and lemon juice.
    Rinse the lentils under cold water and drain.
    Chop the onions and mince the garlic.
  • Cooking
    Heat olive oil in a large pot over high heat until smoking hot.
    Add the chopped onions to the pot, stirring until they begin to caramelize and turn dark brown. This should take about 10 minutes.
    Add the lentils, minced garlic, frozen spinach, and dried mint to the pot.
    Pour in water until it’s about 2 inches above the lentil mixture. Stir well to loosen any browned bits of onion from the bottom of the pot.
    Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Let it simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender. This should take about 20 minutes
  • Final Touches
    If the soup gets too thick during cooking, add more water to reach your desired consistency.
    Salt the soup to taste, then lower the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  • Serving
    Serve the soup hot, with warm pita bread or a fresh salad. For an extra touch, drizzle with olive oil or sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.
  • Additional Options
    Use an immersion blender to blend some or all of the soup for added creaminess.
    Consider adding a diced jalapeno pepper or a dash of cayenne pepper to spice it up.
    For a protein boost, try adding some diced tofu or chicken.
  • EQUIPMENT LIST
  • Large Pot Or Dutch Oven
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Measuring Cups And Spoons
  • Blender Or Immersion Blender
  • Ladle

Notes

  • Lentils: There’s no need to soak them before cooking, but rinse them under cold water and remove any debris or stones.
  • Spices: Feel free to adjust the amount of dried mint or add other spices to suit your taste. For example, a pinch of cumin or coriander can enhance the flavors.
  • Spinach: If you use fresh spinach instead of frozen, add it closer to the end of cooking time, as it wilts quickly.
  • Lemon Juice: Add the lemon juice at the end of the cooking process to maintain its fresh flavor. Adjust the quantity to your taste preference.
  • Storing and Reheating: This soup stores well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Always reheat leftovers until they’re steaming hot.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve this soup with warm pita bread or a fresh salad for a complete meal. A drizzle of olive oil or a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top before serving can also add a nice touch.
  • Preparation Time: Prep time can be reduced by chopping the onions and mincing the garlic ahead of time.

Nutrition Table

Lebanese lentil soup recipe

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