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Learn to Make Delicious Lebanese Lentil Soup in Simple Steps

Embark on a delicious culinary journey as you learn to master the art of crafting a comforting and wholesome Lebanese lentil soup. This step-by-step guide will provide you with an overview of essential techniques to help you prepare and cook a flavorsome and nourishing dish that’s sure to impress your family and friends. From gathering the key ingredients to exploring unique variations and learning about the nutritional benefits, you’ll soon become proficient in creating the perfect Lebanese lentil soup to suit your taste buds.

Gathering Ingredients

Gathering Ingredients for Lebanese Lentil Soup

To make a delicious and flavorsome Lebanese lentil soup, it is essential to gather all the necessary ingredients beforehand.

Here’s a list of key ingredients you’ll need for your soup, along with some brief information about each of them:


Lebanese lentil soup traditionally uses brown or green lentils, but you can also use red lentils if you prefer a smoother texture. You will need about 1 cup of dried lentils for this recipe.


The soup is loaded with wholesome vegetables, like carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. You will need 1 large onion, 2-3 carrots, 2 celery stalks, and a few cloves of garlic.

Olive oil

Use good-quality extra virgin olive oil for sautéing the vegetables and adding a rich, aromatic flavor to the soup.


Lebanese cuisine is known for its use of spices and in this soup, some of the key spices include ground cumin, ground coriander, and ground turmeric. You will need about 1-2 teaspoons of each, depending on your preference for flavor intensity.


To give the soup a richer flavor, use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water. You will need around 6-8 cups of broth for this recipe.

Tomato paste

A small amount of tomato paste (about 2 tablespoons) adds both depth of flavor and a beautiful color to the soup.

Lemon juice

Fresh lemon juice adds a pleasing tartness that balances out all the flavors in the soup. You will need the juice of 1-2 lemons, depending on how tangy you like your soup.

Leafy greens

Add some chopped leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, or kale into the soup for added nutrients and texture. You will need about 2 cups of chopped leafy greens for this recipe.

Fresh herbs

Enhance the flavor of your soup by adding some fresh cilantro or parsley. Use about 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs.

Salt and pepper

Season your soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Enjoying Lebanese Lentil Soup

Once you’ve gathered all these ingredients, you’re ready to start preparing your Lebanese lentil soup. Enjoy the delicious and comforting flavors of this traditional Middle Eastern dish!

Preparing Lentils

Step 1: Selecting the appropriate lentils

For a traditional Lebanese lentil soup recipe, pick up a bag of brown or green lentils. These types hold their shape better when cooked and have a hearty, earthy flavor that works well in soups.

Step 2: Measuring the lentils

Measure the desired amount of lentils for your recipe (usually around 1-1.5 cups of dry lentils per 4-6 servings). Keep in mind that the lentils will expand as they cook, so make sure to take that into consideration.

Step 3: Sorting the lentils

Before washing, sort through the lentils and remove any small stones or debris that may be present, as well as any misshapen or discolored lentils. Spread them out on a clean, flat surface, such as a baking sheet or plate, so you can easily spot any unwanted particles.

Step 4: Rinsing the lentils

Place the lentils in a fine-mesh strainer or colander, and rinse them thoroughly under cold running water. This will help wash away any dust or dirt that may be on the lentils. Shake the strainer gently to drain any excess water.

Step 5: Soaking the lentils (optional)

Some cooks recommend soaking lentils before cooking them, especially for those who may have difficulty digesting legumes. If you choose to soak them, place the rinsed lentils in a large bowl and cover them with plenty of cold water. Allow them to soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the lentils once more before proceeding with your recipe.

Note: Soaking lentils will shorten the cooking time, but it is not required for most recipes. If you choose not to soak them, simply proceed to the next step.

Step 6: Cooking the lentils

Combine the rinsed (and soaked, if applicable) lentils in a large pot with water or broth. The general rule of thumb is 3 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of dry lentils. Add any desired spices or aromatics, such as a bay leaf, garlic, onion, or a pinch of salt.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the lentils simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cooking times may vary, but typically green and brown lentils take about 30-45 minutes to become tender. Check your lentils occasionally to ensure they don’t become too soft or mushy.

Step 7: Adding the lentils to your soup recipe

Once the lentils are cooked through but still have a slight bite to them, drain any excess liquid if necessary, and add the lentils to your soup recipe. Continue cooking per your recipe’s instructions, and enjoy your delicious Lebanese lentil soup!

A bowl of Lebanese lentil soup garnished with fresh herbs and a lemon wedge

Chopping Vegetables

Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe: Chopping Vegetables

Before starting the soup, it is essential to properly chop and prepare the vegetables, as this helps in even cooking and a better overall taste. In this recipe, we will be focusing on onions, carrots, and celery. Follow the instructions below on how to properly chop these vegetables.

1. Prepare and wash the vegetables:

Before you begin, ensure that all your vegetables are rinsed thoroughly under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

2. Chopping the onion:

  1. Cut off both ends of the onion and peel off the skin.
  2. Cut the onion in half from top to bottom.
  3. Lay one half of the onion flat on your cutting board, and hold it securely with one hand, gripping the onion with your fingertips curled inwards.
  4. With a sharp knife in your other hand, make horizontal cuts parallel to your cutting board, starting from the bottom and working your way to the top. Be careful not to cut through the entire onion.
  5. Next, make vertical cuts perpendicular to the horizontal cuts you made, starting from one side and working your way to the other side.
  6. Finally, chop the onion by making downward cuts, following the lines of the previous cuts. The chopped onions will fall off as you chop.

3. Chopping the carrots:

  1. Cut off the ends of the carrot and peel off the outer layer using a vegetable peeler.
  2. Cut the carrot into 3-4 equal-sized sections for more manageable chopping.
  3. Lay one section on your cutting board and, holding it with your fingertips curled inwards, cut thin slices along the length of the carrot.
  4. Stack a few slices together and cut them lengthwise into thin sticks.
  5. Chop the thinly-cut sticks into small, equal-sized cubes.

4. Chopping the celery:

  1. Cut off the ends of the celery stalks.
  2. Align the celery stalks together and, holding them with your fingertips curled inwards, chop off thin, even slices of celery.
  3. If you prefer your celery even finer, stack a few of the chopped slices together and chop them once more.

Now that you have properly chopped the onions, carrots, and celery, you can proceed to make your delicious Lebanese Lentil Soup. Enjoy your cooking!

A bowl of Lebanese lentil soup garnished with chopped cilantro and a slice of lemon.

Sauteing and Seasoning

Title: Sauteing and Seasoning for a Flavorful Lebanese Lentil Soup Base


To create a delicious Lebanese lentil soup, it is essential to start with a flavorful base. This base is built upon sauteing vegetables and utilizing a variety of spices. In this guide, you will learn how to master the technique of sauteing and understand which spices are commonly used in Lebanese cuisine to impart a rich, satisfying taste to your soup.


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare the vegetables: Finely chop the onion, mince the garlic, and dice the carrots and celery. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Make sure that the bottom of the pot is evenly coated with oil.
  3. Saute the onions: Add the chopped onions to the pot, and saute for 5-7 minutes or until they become translucent and slightly golden. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking and prevent burning.
  4. Add the garlic: Once the onions are softened, add the minced garlic to the pot and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Make sure to stir constantly to avoid burning the garlic.
  5. Saute the carrots and celery: Add the diced carrots and celery to the pot. Cook these vegetables for 5-7 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  6. Season the vegetables: In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, turmeric, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Once the vegetables have softened, sprinkle the spice mix evenly over the vegetables. Stir to combine.
  7. Cook the spices: Allow the spices to cook with the vegetables for about 3-4 minutes to let the flavors meld together and the spices to become toasted. Stir occasionally to prevent the spices from burning.
  8. Add salt and pepper: Season the sauteed vegetables and spices with salt and freshly ground black pepper, according to your preference. Taste and adjust as needed.
  9. Proceed with the soup: You now have a flavorful base to create your Lebanese lentil soup. You can proceed by adding the lentils, liquid, and other remaining ingredients according to your chosen recipe.


With these simple steps, you can create a delicious Lebanese lentil soup by sauteing vegetables, using the right balance of spices, and creating a flavorful base. This technique can be applied to many other recipes, too, adding depth and flavor to a variety of dishes. Enjoy the process of sauteing and seasoning, and relish in the savory results it provides!

Simmering the Soup

Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe: Simmering the Soup

Follow these instructions to simmer the Lebanese lentil soup in order to achieve the perfect consistency and flavor blend.

1. Prepare your ingredients:

  • 1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chopped leafy greens (such as spinach or kale)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2. Combine ingredients:

In a large pot, combine the lentils, vegetable broth or water, onion, carrots, garlic, and spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and paprika). Stir well to combine.

3. Bring to a boil:

Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.

4. Reduce heat and simmer:

Once the soup reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low or medium-low, and let the soup simmer gently. Cover the pot partially with a lid, leaving a small gap for steam to escape.

5. Cook the lentils:

Allow the soup to simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking and to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If the soup becomes too thick during cooking, add more broth or water as necessary to maintain your desired consistency.

6. Taste and season:

As the soup simmers, taste it periodically and adjust the salt and pepper as needed to suit your preferences.

7. Add greens and lemon juice:

When the lentils are cooked through, stir in the chopped leafy greens and lemon juice. Let the soup simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until the greens are wilted and cooked through.

8. Add fresh cilantro:

Stir in the chopped fresh cilantro just before serving, allowing the heat from the soup to release the herb’s flavorful oils.

9. Serve and enjoy:

Ladle the hot Lebanese lentil soup into bowls and serve immediately, with warm pita bread or your favorite bread on the side for dipping.

By simmering the soup for the appropriate amount of time, you’ll be able to fully meld the flavors, ensuring that the finished dish is both delicious and satisfying.

A bowl of Lebanese lentil soup with a dollop of yogurt and chopped cilantro on top.

Blending and Finishing Touches

Blending and Finishing Touches: Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe

Before you start blending the soup, ensure it has cooled down a bit. Blending a hot soup may cause splatters or burns. If the soup is still hot, let it rest for about 5-10 minutes to lower its temperature. You do not need to wait for it to be completely cold, but it should not be piping hot either.

Prepare the blender:

You can either use a countertop blender or an immersion blender (also called a hand blender) to blend the soup. If using a countertop blender, ensure the jug is clean and the blades are properly assembled. If using an immersion blender, choose a high-sided pot or container where the soup will not splash out as you blend.

Blend in batches:

Working in small batches is crucial to achieving a smooth texture for the soup. To do this, ladle or pour a portion of the soup into the blender, filling it no more than halfway. This allows enough room for the soup to blend and expand without overflowing.

Start blending at low speed:

Place the blender lid or immersion blender onto the soup, ensuring the lid is secured tightly and the blender is not touching the bottom of the container. Start blending the soup at the lowest setting and gradually increase the speed as needed. The low speed helps to break down the lentils and vegetables and prevents splatters.

Blend until smooth:

Continue blending until the soup reaches your desired consistency. You can blend it fully smooth, or leave it slightly chunky depending on your preference. Once the desired texture is achieved, transfer the blended soup into a clean pot. Repeat the process with the remaining soup, blending in batches until all the soup is blended.

Add the lemon juice:

To brighten the flavor of the soup, stir in the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Start with the juice of one lemon, and taste the soup. Add more lemon juice if desired, one tablespoon at a time. Stir well after each addition to ensure even distribution.

Adjust seasoning:

Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper to your liking. Remember that the lemon juice will add an acidic taste, so be mindful when seasoning.

Reheat the soup:

Place the blended soup back onto the stove over medium heat until it reaches your desired serving temperature. Stir occasionally to prevent the bottom from sticking or burning.

Prepare the cilantro garnish:

While the soup is reheating, wash and dry a handful of fresh cilantro leaves. Finely chop the cilantro and set aside.

Serve and garnish:

When the soup is heated through, ladle it into bowls. Sprinkle a generous amount of chopped cilantro over each serving for both flavor and visual appeal. You can also add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top to enhance the flavor and presentation.

Enjoy your delicious Lebanese lentil soup with its smooth texture and bright, fresh finishing touches of lemon and cilantro!

a bowl of Lebanese lentil soup with cilantro garnish

Serving and Garnishing

Choosing the Right Bowl

Serving the soup in individual bowls that showcase its vibrant color will enhance its appeal. You can choose white, off-white, or contrasting colored bowls to make the soup stand out.

Preparing a Garnish

A combination of garnishes can elevate the appearance and taste of the soup. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Fresh herbs: Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley adds a pop of color and a burst of flavor to the dish. Simply scatter a small handful of chopped herbs over each bowl before serving.
  • Lemon wedges: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds brightness and tang to the soup. Include a lemon wedge on the side of each bowl so that each individual can add the desired amount of lemon juice.
  • Yogurt drizzle: Whisk a few tablespoons of plain yogurt with a little bit of water until smooth and of drizzling consistency. This will create a cool, creamy contrast to the warm, earthy lentils. Gently drizzle the yogurt over each bowl of soup in a zigzag pattern.
  • Croutons or toasted pita: For added crunch, consider topping the soup with croutons or toasted pita pieces. Simply cube a pita and bake it at 375°F (190°C) for 5-10 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Scatter a small portion over the soup just before serving.

Serve with Accompaniments

Lebanese lentil soup is often enjoyed with a side of rice, salad, or warm bread to create a more filling and well-rounded meal. Consider offering one or more of these options alongside the soup.

Layer on the Flavors

For some, adding additional seasonings and spices at the table can enhance the experience. Set out small dishes of ground cumin, paprika, hot sauce, or extra-virgin olive oil for guests to customize their bowls.

Serve the Soup Hot

Although this soup can be enjoyed at room temperature, serving it piping hot will maximize its flavors and highlight its comforting properties. Be sure to check the temperature of the soup before serving, and reheat if necessary.


To serve the Lebanese lentil soup, ladle it into individual bowls, leaving some space near the rim. Gently place your chosen garnishes on top of the soup, starting with the freshest and most colorful items. For instance, add a swirl of yogurt, then a sprinkle of chopped herbs, and finally a few croutons or toasted pita pieces. Finish by placing a lemon wedge on the side of the bowl. Enjoy!

A bowl of Lebanese lentil soup with fresh herbs and lemon wedge garnishes

Storing and Reheating


  1. Allow the Lebanese lentil soup to cool down to room temperature. After cooking, remove the soup from heat and allow it to sit undisturbed for around 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Transfer the soup to airtight containers. Use a ladle or a large spoon to carefully pour the soup into containers, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top. This allows the soup to expand slightly during freezing without overflowing.
  3. Label the containers with the date and contents. Use a permanent marker or a label to indicate what the container holds and when it was prepared. This helps you keep track of how long the soup has been stored and ensures that you consume it within the recommended time frame.
  4. Store the soup in the refrigerator or freezer. The cooled soup should be refrigerated or frozen as soon as possible to maintain its freshness. Lentil soup can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you need to store it for a more extended period, place it in the freezer, where it can last for up to 3 months.


  1. Thaw the soup if frozen. If you’ve frozen your Lebanese lentil soup, you’ll need to thaw it before reheating. You can either slowly thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost function in your microwave.
  2. Pour the soup into a saucepan or microwave-safe dish. To reheat your soup on the stovetop, use a saucepan large enough to hold the soup comfortably. If you prefer to reheat it in the microwave, transfer it to a microwave-safe dish with a lid or a microwave-safe plate to cover it.
  3. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. On the stovetop, heat your soup over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches a simmer. In the microwave, cover the soup and reheat on medium power in 2-minute intervals, stirring after each interval until the soup is heated through.
  4. Adjust seasoning as needed. The flavors of the soup may change slightly during storage and reheating. Before serving, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, such as salt, pepper, or spices, as needed.
  5. Serve the soup hot. Once your Lebanese lentil soup has been reheated thoroughly, transfer it to serving bowls and enjoy it immediately.

Nutritional Benefits

Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe:

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of dried green or brown lentils (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Instructions:
  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until onion becomes translucent and slightly golden.
  • Add the chopped carrot and potato. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Cook for 1 minute, or until the spices become fragrant.
  • Add the rinsed and drained lentils to the pot, followed by the vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the lentils and vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Finally, stir in the chopped cilantro or parsley and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Serve hot with some crusty bread or a side salad for a wholesome and delicious meal.

Nutritional Benefits:

  1. Lentils: Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein, essential for muscle growth and repair. They also provide dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut. Lentils are also high in vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, and folate.
  2. Carrots: Carrots are high in vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining good eye health and the immune system. They also provide antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, which may protect against certain types of cancer and promote overall health.
  3. Potato: Potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals (potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6), and are a good source of carbohydrates for energy. They also contain some fiber, which aids in digestion.
  4. Onions and Garlic: Both of these ingredients are known for their potential benefits to heart health, due to their high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They may also have immune-boosting effects.
  5. Spices: Cumin, coriander, and turmeric all have anti-inflammatory properties and offer unique flavors to the soup. Turmeric, in particular, has been extensively studied for its potential benefits to brain and joint health due to its active compound, curcumin.
  6. Olive Oil: Olive oil is a source of healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  7. Cilantro/Parsley: Both herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and vitamin K. They also provide antioxidants and have some anti-inflammatory properties.

Overall, this Lebanese lentil soup recipe is not only delicious but also packed with health benefits. Enjoy this comforting and nutritious meal as part of your balanced diet.

A bowl of Lebanese lentil soup topped with fresh cilantro

Exploring Variations


Lebanese lentil soup is a delicious and healthy meal that can be easily customized to suit your taste buds. By exploring alternative ingredients and methods, you can create unique variations of the classic Lebanese lentil soup recipe. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different food combinations and cooking techniques to bring out new flavors and textures in this timeless dish. Here are several ideas and tips to help you get started on your culinary adventure.

1. Experiment with different types of lentils:

The classic Lebanese lentil soup recipe typically uses green or brown lentils. However, there are many types of lentils that you can try, and each variety offers its unique flavor and texture. For example, you can use red lentils for a smoother, creamier soup, or try black beluga lentils for a more robust, earthy taste. Mixing different types of lentils can add an interesting visual appeal and complexity to the soup.

2. Add seasonal vegetables:

Incorporating seasonal vegetables into your Lebanese lentil soup can add an extra layer of flavor and nutrients. Consider adding root vegetables (like potatoes, carrots, or turnips) in the fall and winter months for a heartier soup. In the warmer months, you can add zucchini, summer squash, or bell peppers for a lighter and more refreshing variation.

3. Mix up the greens:

Switch out the traditional choice of spinach for other types of greens. Try using kale, chard, or collard greens for a new twist on your Lebanese lentil soup.

4. Explore different spices and herbs:

The classic Lebanese lentil soup recipe usually includes cumin, turmeric, and coriander. To create a unique variation, experiment with different spices and herbs. Some ideas include adding cardamom, cinnamon, or smoked paprika for a different depth of flavor. You can also try adding parsley, cilantro, or basil for a fresh pop of flavor.

5. Add a protein boost:

For a more filling variation of the Lebanese lentil soup, you can add different proteins to the mix. Diced or shredded chicken can add a savory taste, whereas chunks of beef or lamb can add a rich and heartier flavor. For a vegetarian alternative, consider adding cubes of tofu or tempeh to give an extra boost of protein.

6. Adjust the texture:

The traditional Lebanese lentil soup usually has a thick and creamy consistency. For a more brothy soup, try adding more water or broth to the mix. Alternatively, you can blend the soup to create a smoother, creamier texture. If you prefer a chunkier soup, try mashing only half of the lentils or leave them whole.

7. Top it off with something special:

To give your Lebanese lentil soup a unique finishing touch, consider adding toppings like crumbled feta cheese, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or a dollop of Greek yogurt. Fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, or mint can also add a pop of color and flavor to the dish.

8. Experiment with cooking methods:

While the stovetop is the traditional way to cook Lebanese lentil soup, you can also explore other cooking methods. Slow cooking the soup can result in an extra depth of flavor, as the ingredients have more time to meld together. Using a pressure cooker can also save time and create a tasty soup in just minutes.


By exploring variations in ingredients and cooking methods, you can bring new life to the classic Lebanese lentil soup recipe. Remember, don’t be afraid to mix and match different ideas and adjustments until you find a perfect variation to suit your taste buds. Happy exploring!

A bowl of Lebanese lentil soup with pieces of bread on the side.

Practicing and Tweaking

Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe: Practicing and Tweaking

Before we dive into the cooking and tweaking process, let’s first go over a basic Lebanese lentil soup recipe. This recipe will serve as our starting point, and as you practice and tweak, you may find a variation of this recipe that better suits your personal taste buds.

Basic Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe:

  • 1 cup dried green or brown lentils
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 cups chopped leafy greens (such as spinach or Swiss chard)
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped, for garnishing (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)


  1. Rinse and drain the lentils, then place them in a large pot with the water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let cook for about 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, prepare the onion and garlic. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until it is soft and transparent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the cooked onion and garlic to the pot of lentils, along with the spices. Stir well to combine and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Let the soup simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. If the soup is too thick, add water or broth to reach desired consistency.
  5. Stir in the chopped greens and cook for another 5 minutes, until the greens have wilted.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley or cilantro and with lemon wedges on the side (if desired).

Now that we have a basic recipe, follow these steps to practice and tweak it to your personal preferences:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the basic recipe – Cook the basic recipe several times to familiarize yourself with the process and to get a better sense of how the flavors come together.
  2. Take notes – Keep a journal to record your thoughts and observations as you cook. Note any adjustments made to the recipe, as well as the outcomes. This will help you track your progress and make informed adjustments.
  3. Adjust the spices – If you find the soup too bland or too strong, adjust the amount of cumin, turmeric, and salt and pepper to your taste. Additionally, consider adding other spices such as paprika or coriander to create a different flavor profile.
  4. Explore new ingredients – If you want to add a unique touch to your soup, experiment with different vegetables, legumes, or grains. For example, add carrots, celery, or tomatoes to create a heartier soup, or replace the lentils with chickpeas or rice.
  5. Modify the consistency – If you prefer the soup lighter or chunkier, adjust the amount of liquid used. If you want a creamier texture, blend a portion of the cooked lentils and stir them back into the soup.
  6. Test garnishes and accompaniments – Enhance your soup with different garnishes and sides, such as crusty bread, a dollop of yogurt, or a sprinkle of feta cheese for added flavor and texture.
  7. Share your soup – Share your Lebanese lentil soup with friends and family and ask for their feedback. This can provide valuable insights and ideas for further tweaking.

Remember, practice makes perfect. By cooking, adjusting, and refining your recipe, you’ll eventually create the perfect Lebanese lentil soup that satisfies your taste buds. Enjoy the process and have fun experimenting!

A bowl of Lebanese lentil soup garnished with cilantro and a lemon wedge.

As you continue to practice and develop your skills in preparing Lebanese lentil soup, you’ll gain confidence and expertise in not only creating the classic recipe, but also experimenting with different flavors and variations to make the dish truly your own. Your culinary adventure doesn’t have to stop here; use the techniques and knowledge you’ve acquired to explore other Middle Eastern recipes and unlock a world of deliciousness within your own kitchen. Your enthusiasm for learning about different dishes and cultures will undoubtedly be rewarded with delectable delights.

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