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Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

Made with pantry staples, this easy and quick to make vegan Lebanese Red Lentil Soup is an ideal recipe for a simple homemade weeknight dinner that can be ready in less than 30 minutes!

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Bowl of red lentil soup topped with chopped parsley.

This Lentil soup, also known as Shorbat Adas in Arabic, is a healthy soup made with red lentils. It is a very popular soup and many variations of it exist throughout the Middle-East.

Red lentil soups are among my favorite soups to make. Red lentils are nutritious and cook up very quickly. They have a mild taste so they can be combined with so many different vegetables and spices. If you also love cooking with red lentils, don't forget to check out this Red Lentil Cauliflower Soup and this Sweet Potato Red Lentil Soup.

How to Make Lebanese Lentil Soup

This simple soup recipe requires only a handful of ingredients to make a big pot of soup. Below is an overview of the basic ingredients and steps to making a pot of this vegan lentil soup. Please see the recipe card at the end of this post for quantities and full directions.

Ingredients Overview:

  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Red lentils 
  • Onion and cloves of garlic
  • Carrots
  • Ground cumin, salt and black pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable stock or water or a combination of both (chicken broth can also be used if you don't need this soup to be vegan).
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh parsley (optional)
Image of ingredients needed to make a red lentil soup.

Steps Overview:

To make this soup, pick through lentils to remove debris. Rinse the lentils and set them aside. Chop the onion and carrot and mince the garlic.

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil and sauté the chopped onions over medium-high heat. Add the chopped garlic, sauté for a minute and then add in the carrots and the spices and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the lentils and the broth (or water).

Bring it all to a boil and then lower the heat to medium and simmer the soup for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until carrots and lentils are tender. Turn the heat off and add two to three tablespoons (or to taste) of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Check the soup for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed.

If puréeing the soup, carefully transfer it in batches (I like using a large ladle) to a blender and purée until smooth. You can also use a hand blender (immersion blender) to purée the soup right in the pot. I like to purée about 2 cups of the soup and mix it back into the pot of soup. This thickens the soup and makes it creamy but leaves chunks of carrots intact.

To serve, ladle the lentil soup into bowls and garnish with chopped fresh parsley leaves.

Chopped garlic cloves, carrots and onion on cutting board.
Four step by step images of how to make Lebanese Red Lentil Soup.
Four step by step Images of how to make red lentil soup.
Top view of a pot of cooked Lebanese lentil soup.

Possible Variations:

  • Make it with yellow, green or brown lentils. You will have to adjust the cooking time since different varieties of lentils cook in different amounts of time.
  • Add Swiss chard. Rinse Swiss chard and remove stems. Chop the stems and add at the same time as the carrots. Roughly chop the Swiss chard leaves and add them to the pot when carrots and lentils are tender. Chard leaves only need a few minutes of cooking time because they cook so quickly.
  • Add a medium-sized potato. Peel, rinse and dice the potato. Add to the soup pot when the lentils, carrots and broth come to a boil.
  • Add half a cup of short grain rice. If you choose to add rice to the soup make sure to add an extra cup of broth or water to the soup. Add the rice to the pot once the soup has come to a boil.
  • Add a touch of cayenne pepper for a spicier soup. Add a pinch, taste and add more if you want it spicier.

How to Serve

A great way to serve this traditional Lebanese lentil soup is with lemon wedges and pita bread. If you are looking to serve a bigger Middle Eastern meal, you can serve this soup as a starter. For the main, you can serve Kafta Kebabs with a side salad of either Tabbouleh or Fattoush. For dessert, try these delicious Baklava Rolls.

Close-up of a bowl of Lebanese lentil Soup.

How to Store

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You may need to add a little water to thin out the soup when you reheat it.

This soup freezes well. To freeze it, store it in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 to 4 months. Thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it over medium-low heat. You could re-blend the soup with an immersion blender or in a regular blender for a smooth soup.

Enjoy!

More Delicious Soups to Try

Close-up of a bowl of Lebanese lentil Soup.

Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

Made with pantry staples, this easy and quick to make vegan Lebanese Red Lentil Soup is an ideal recipe for a simple homemade weeknight dinner.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Lebanese, Middle-Eastern
Servings 5
Calories 257 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons sea salt
  • 0.5 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1.5 cups red lentils picked over and rinsed
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water or a combination of both. (chicken broth can also be used if you don't need this soup to be vegan).
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice or to taste, freshly squeezed
  • fresh parsley chopped, optional

Instructions
 

  • To make this soup, pick through lentils to remove debris. Rinse lentils under cold water and set aside. Chop the onion and carrot. Mince the garlic.
  • In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil and sauté the chopped onions over medium-high heat. Add the chopped garlic, sauté for a minute and then add in the carrots and the spices and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the lentils and the broth (or water).
  • Bring it all to a boil and then lower the heat to medium and simmer the soup for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until carrots and lentils are tender.
  • Check the soup for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed. Turn the heat off and add three tablespoons (or to taste) of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • If puréeing the soup, let it cool for a five minutes and carefully transfer one to two cups (I like using a large ladle) to a blender and purée until smooth. You can also use a hand blender (immersion blender) to purée the soup right in the pot. I like to puree about 2 cups of the soup and pour it back into the soup pot. This thickens the soup and makes it creamy but leaves chunks of carrots intact. 
  • To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and if desired garnish with chopped fresh parsley leaves.

Notes

  1. Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You may need to add a little water when reheating the soup to thin it out.   
  2. This soup can be frozen.  To freeze it, store it in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 to 4 months. Thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator and reheat  over medium-low heat.
Possible Variations:
  • Make it with yellow, green or brown lentils. You will have to adjust the cooking time since different varieties of lentils cook in different amounts of time.
  • Add Swiss chard. Rinse Swiss chard and remove stems. Chop the stems and add at the same time as the carrots. Roughly chop the Swiss chard leaves and add them to the pot when carrots and lentils are tender. Chard leaves only need a few minutes of cooking time because they cook so quickly.
  • Add a medium-sized potato. Peel, rinse and dice the potato. Add to the soup pot when the lentils, carrots and broth come to a boil.
  • Add half a cup of short grain rice. If you choose to add rice to the soup make sure to add an extra cup of broth or water to the soup. Add the rice to the pot once the soup has come to a boil.
  • Add a touch of cayenne pepper for a spicier soup. Add a pinch, taste and add more if you want it spicier.

Nutrition

Calories: 257kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 15gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 1852mgPotassium: 681mgFiber: 18gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 5645IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Arabic Lentil Soup, Lebanese Lentil Soup, Lebanese Red Lentil Soup, Mediterranean Lentil Soup, Middle-Eastern Red lentil Soup
Tried this recipe? Have any questions, comments or suggestions? Leave a comment below!Mention @sweetandsavourypursuits or tag #sweetandsavourypursuits!
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