Jun 5, 2021

hearty middle eastern lentil soup


Time: 45 minutes 
Dishes: large pot, immersion or regular blender 

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

If you are looking for a fantastic and easy to make lentil soup, you've found it. And even if you aren't you should give this a try. Lentils are nutritious and hearty, so it is definitely worth a try. 

This soup uses dried lentils - green or brown - but, you can use French, if you like. Do not use red lentils because they are meant to fall apart during cooking. This recipe makes sure that your lentils stay whole and not mushy. 

To accomplish that, I used the Indian method of cooking lentils - sweating them. You cook the lentils for 10 minute without liquid, before adding the water and broth mix. This makes sure that your lentils stay whole after the simmering time.  

The last step is to puree as much of the tender lentils as you like, which gives the soup a nice body and texture. You can do this using an immersion blender or a standard blender. 

To finish the soup, you add a bit of lemon juice or yogurt - I went with yogurt, which adds an equal amount of acid to the soup, brightening it up.

The one issue you might encounter is the age of your lentils. I get my lentils from Azure Standard, so they are amazingly fresh. My lentils were tender after 15 minutes of simmering, but I have had lentils stay tough well into the 30 minute mark. The older your legumes, the longer they will take to cook. 

This was a really delicious soup that is hearty and creamy. Grab a bag and get cooking. 

If you need inspiration for your weekly menu, check out ours HERE.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Gather your ingredients
  • Add the vegetables and herbs as they are ready
  • Wash and pick over the lentils while the vegetables cook
  • Mince fresh herbs while lentils cook

(Printer-friendly doesn't seem to be so friendly. Just select the text between the arrows (including the white space to add margin on the top), right-click, select Print, and now it's printer-friendly. Can also be saved as PDF:  choose Save as PDF in Destination drop-down, instead of a printer.)

Hearty Middle Eastern Lentil Soup

Makes 4 servings 



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon thyme leaves

1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin 

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained 

1 teaspoon liquid smoke (if not using smoked salt)

1 cup dry brown or green lentils, rinsed and picked over

1 teaspoon salt or smoked salt 

6 cups water

2 tablespoons Easy Savory Broth Mix

2 teaspoons lemon juice or 1/4 cup unsweetened plain nondairy yogurt

2 tablespoons minced parsley or cilantro

1. Base: Add the oil, onion, carrot, garlic, bay, thyme, coriander and cumin to a large pot over medium heat. Stir and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes. 

2. Lentils: Stir in the tomatoes, smoke, if using, lentils and salt to the Base. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. Stir halfway through.  

3. Soup: Add the water and broth mix to the Lentils. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and black pepper. Bring to boil over high heat, reduce to medium, partly cover and cook until the lentils are tender, about 15 to 40 minutes.  

4. Puree: Remove and discard the bay leaf. Remove and puree 3 cups of the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender to puree as much as you like. Add the lemon juice and parsley and serve. If using yogurt, stir into each bowl 

© 2021 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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  1. I love lentils, a favorite protein of mine. I have made my far less interesting--and no doubt less tasty--but very easy and quick to make simple brown lentil soup to take to work, for the past two weeks. Will try your recipe, which contains everything I love and will be much fuller in flavor, I can already tell. Thanks!

    1. Lentils are a favorite of mine, as well! It is definitely a wholesome, nutritious and delicious legume. Easy to cook, too. I see why you've been making it. If you get around to making this one, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!


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