Middle-Eastern Style Lentil Soup

Middle-Eastern Style Lentil Soup

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, cut into medium dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin, preferably ground from whole seeds toasted in a dry skillet
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 7 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 cups dried red lentils, picked over, washed, and rinsed
  • ~ Pinch of red-pepper flakes


  • In a large cooking pot, saute the onions in the heated olive oil until caramelized (tender). Add the garlic, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt, and pepper, and cook for another minute.
  • Add the broth (or water) and heat to boiling.
  • Stir in the lentils, cover the pot, and cook until the lentils are tender.
  • Stir in the pepper flakes, cover, and cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot.

Although I have never used cinnamon in this recipe, it is traditional in some Middle-Eastern cultures to add cinnamon, parsley, cilantro or tomatoes to this recipe. These are all healthy additions which introduce subtle flavors. Have fun with this recipe and try it with different herbs & spices.

This dish can be served over rice* and topped with additional caramelized onions. A nice complementary side dish is a cucumber/yogurt/garlic sauce which can be made by combining plain yogurt with crushed garlic and finely chopped cucumber, a dash of olive oil, salt, pepper (dill or mint garnish is optional).

*Note – preferably brown rice that has been soaked prior to cooking.

Similar Posts