Lebanese Lentil Soup

"Truly, a wonderful soup!"
photo by Bergy photo by Bergy
photo by Bergy
Ready In:
1hr 40mins




  • 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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  1. kfehrer
    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).
  2. damandar
    I sauted the onions for a long time until they are pretty much carmelized, and I do not use as much lemon juice as the recipe calls for, but I love this soup! I can't think of anything so healthy that tastes so good! I am a beginner, and this is my favorite. Thank you!!
  3. Sharon123
    I really enjoyed this soup. You must really love cilantro to like this! I loved the mix of flavors with the lentils, spincah, and potatoes. Lots of garlic, lots of cilantro. Thanks Miss Annie!
  4. selinaastra
    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.
  5. bkacker
    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!


  1. Amelanchier
    We just use kale instead of cilantro or spinach, and blend it into a paste with the garlic. It's yummy with yogurt!



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