Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

READY IN: 45mins
Recipe by Little Tomato

This is a slight variation of the lentil soup my father has made ever since I can remember. He is from Lebanon and one of the best cooks I know. My version is a combination of his and the red lentil soup served at a Lebanese restaurant in Chicago, the chef of which was kind enough to share his secrets with me. It is healthy, hearty, delicious and easy to make.

Top Review by bloev

Wow, I am so glad I came across this recipe as this soup is absolutely delicious!! I'm sure this is amazing if prepared exactly as written, but couldn't help myself and made a couple of very minor additions. I also made my own Arabic 7 spice with another recipe I found online - great spice combination that I was previously unfamiliar with! Only changes were that I used 2 onions instead of one and cooked them with some minced garlic. I also added 3 carrots which gave it great additional color. Btw...the cardamon in the 7 spice brought out tremendous sweetness from the carrots. I also added a 10oz. box of frozen spinach on a whim - glad I did as it worked perfectly, and made this a 'complete' meal. This is one of my new favorite soups! Thank you so much Little Tomato for posting!!!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 10 cups vegetable stock (or chicken)
  • 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil or 1 -2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 12 cups red lentils, thoroughly rinsed
  • 12 cup rice
  • 1 12 teaspoons Arabic seven spice (available at Middle Eastern grocery stores)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 14 teaspoon aleppo pepper (also available at Middle Eastern grocery stores) (optional) or 14 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 12 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)


  1. Sautee onions in the olive oil or butter until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the stock, lentils, and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover partially.
  3. When lentils are broken down and rice is almost cooked (about 10 minutes), add the Arabic seven spice, cumin, salt, pepper, and Aleppo pepper, if using it.
  4. Simmer soup for another 15-20 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and then add the lemon juice.
  6. NOTE: Add more stock or water to thin it out if it becomes too thick. At the correct consistency, you should be able to pour the soup into bowls.
  7. Serve with crusty bread and additional lemon wedges.

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