Lebanese Lentil Soup
The blog has been around for over 5 years now and I've only just realised that I haven't even shared a favourite classic - OMG! What would my life be without Lebanese lentil soup? It would be poorer by many delicious moments and memories... Yet the soup has superpowers - it is creamy and crunchy as well as warming and refreshing at the same time!
Hearty, creamy and fruity at the same time
Cream soups are wonderful - you just throw everything roughly chopped into a pot, sauté it briefly and then simply deglaze it with stock. Then the blender does the rest. A recipe just the way I like it: quick and easy. At least when I really don't feel like standing in the kitchen any longer and still want to treat myself to something really good. Lentil soup is simply always good!
The soup warms me in winter and refreshes me in summer. No, no - of course I don't eat the soup cold in summer. The refreshment comes from the characteristic fruity lemon flavour, which you can determine yourself. That's why the amount of lemon juice in the recipe is only a recommendation - so feel free to experiment until you find your personal taste.
In addition to the acidity, there are several other flavours to discover in the lentil soup, because the spices are not stingy here. Cinnamon, turmeric, coriander seeds, cumin, cloves and laurel will have a mighty party on your taste buds. By the way, you don't need cream for Lebanese lentil soup. I like to top my plate with a small portion of tahini - delicious!
Lebanese lentil soup and the discovery of crunchiness
What I have particularly liked about this classic since my childhood is the crunchy toasted pita bread. While the lentils are simmering nicely, flatbread is either toasted in the oven or briefly deep-fried in hot fat. My mother always had to toast at least twice the amount of pita bread, because we always snacked on the first crispy pita bread. And I still do it that way now. I crisp up the first half of the bread while cooking the lentil soup as a starter. The rest is simply crumbled and placed on top of the soup. This gives the whole thing a nice contrast in the mouth and is really delicious.
Recipe for Lebanese lentil soup
- 250 g Red lentils
- 1,5 L Vegetable broth
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 Onion
- 1 Carrot (large)
- 1 Potato (small)
- 70 ml Lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 5 TBSP Olive oil
- 1,5 TSP Cumin
- 1/2 TSP Coriander seeds ground
- 1 pinch cloves ground
- 1/2 TSP Cinnamon
- 1/2 TSP Turmeric
- 1 Bay leaf
- Salt, pepper
Toasted pita bread
- 1 Lebanese pita bread
Topping (as desired)
- chopped parsley
- Chilli flakes
Prepare lentil soup
- Peel and quarter the onion and garlic.
- Peel the carrot and potato and cut into large cubes.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion and garlic in it for about 2 minutes on a high heat. Stir occasionally.
- Add the carrot and potato and sauté for another 2 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add the spices and bay leaf and stir-fry for another minute.
- Add the lentils and deglaze with vegetable stock.
- Bring to the boil and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup.
- Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. (You can also try adding half of the lemon juice and see if you like the acidity. In general, the soup should have a good acidity).
- Serve the lentil soup and garnish with some tahini, toasted pita bread, parsley and chilli flakes if desired.
Roast pita bread
- Preheat the oven to approx. 180 °C.
- Separate the pita bread halves from each other.
- Toast the pita bread in the oven for about 4 minutes.
- Crumble the toasted pita bread.
Be sure to try the lentil and chard soup or makhloota.