Lebanese Lentil Soup
photo by Bergy
- Ready In:
- 1hr 40mins
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed
- 12 cloves garlic
- olive oil
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 large onions, chopped fine
- 1 lb lentils, washed and drained
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 12 cups water
- 1 (10 ounce) box frozen spinach
- 2 medium potatoes, cubed
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- Place cilantro in a food processor with garlic, 3 Tbsps olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Process until mixture forms a paste.
- Set aside.
- Sauté onions in 1/4 cup of olive oil until light brown.
- Add lentils and mix.
- Cook on medium heat for a few minutes.
- Add cinnamon and water.
- Turn heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn heat to medium, add remaining salt, spinach, potatoes and cilantro paste.
- and cook, uncovered, on low heat until lentils are creamy.
- Add lemon juice and continue cooking, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- (Total cooking time about 1 1/2 hours.) This soup can be served cold, warm or hot.
Questions & Replies
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Prepare yourself... this soup is amazing. I also add carrots and tomato (both diced) to up the veggie content. Carrots go in with the potatoes and tomatoes go in at the very end (I throw them in about 5 min before serving... Plus I save a bit of fresh cilantro to throw in at the very end as well so it is green and fresh).
Terrific! I modified a little based on what I had, the kids' tastes, and needing dinner done in 40 minutes or less, as follows (for 6 serving recipe): 2 tsp dried, crushed cilantro leaves (instead of fresh) 2 scrubbed diced carrots & 2 stalks celery diced (instead of spinach - next time I'll do the spinach, though!) cooking mods: > no pureeing cilantro > add cilantro, cinnamon, and lentils to the saute pan as onions become translucent, keep sauteing for a minute or two (until aromatic) > add water and veggies and cook approximately 20-30 minutes, until lentils are tender. Add water as needed while it cooks.
We have a Lebanese restaurant in town and we love their lentil soup. I looked for a recipe and found this. I think this soup may be better than what we get at the restaurant. The layers of flavor in this soup are fabulous. I did make a couple of additions. I added salt and pepper to the onions while they were cooking. I added a bit of lemon zest to the cilantro paste (I hate to waste good lemon zest) and I also added carrots along with the potatoes. I also used a combination of chicken stock and water for cooking the lentils and added a bay leaf. I can't believe how filling this soup is. It is delicious and the leftovers will be even better tomorrow night. Can't wait!
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