Arabic Lentil Soup

4.92 stars average

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Arabic Lentil Soup is made with hearty vegetables and brown lentils simmered with warm spices like cinnamon and cumin then blended until smooth.

squeezing lemon on arabic lentil soup

My Lebanese family has made many variations of this Arabic Lentil Soup over the years. It’s one of my favorite comfort foods because it’s warm, nutrient-dense, and protein-packed. I love using lentils as a protein substitute for meat. They’re high in protein and fiber, but low in fat. Since lentils are common in Middle Eastern cooking, I tend to use them in different ways on a regular basis. Some of my favorite recipes with lentils include Curried Lentils with Sweet Potatoes, and Lentils, Rice, and Caramelized Onions (mujadara).


  • Olive oil: Used to sauté the vegetables before they finish cooking in the broth.
  • Onion: I use a white onion for mild onion flavor that caramelizes quickly for a bit of an added punch.
  • Carrots: Adds a hint of sweetness to the soup, along with some brighter color and added nutrients.
  • Celery: Doesn’t add much flavor, but adds a lot of vitamins and fiber.
  • Garlic: Aromatic and intense flavor that is almost always used in my cooking.
  • Warm spices: Cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne give this soup the warm, comforting, deep flavor.
  • Lentils: I usually use brown lentils, but you could use red or green lentils as well. They’re packed with packed with B vitamins and essential minerals like folate, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.
  • Chicken broth: Makes for a flavorful base for the soup, you could easily swap for vegetable broth to make this soup vegan and vegetarian.
  • Lemon juice: Adds a bit of acidity and bright flavor that helps to balance out the dish.

How to Make Arabic Lentil Soup

onions and carrots being sauteed

You’ll start your Arabic lentil soup by sautéing your onions, celery, and carrots in the bottom of a large pot, just until the onions start to look translucent. This adds a extra bit of flavor to the finished soup.

Arabic Lentil Soup cooking in a pot

While the vegetables are cooking, add in the warm spices, garlic, and some salt and pepper to taste.

ingredients being added to a pot

Next add the lentils and toast for a couple minutes, then add the broth, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes until the lentils are tender.

blending brown lentil soup

The final step for a deliciously smooth and creamy soup is to blend it once everything is tender and soft. You can do this either in a typical blender, or you can keep it in the pot and use an immersion blender.

garnishing arabic lentil soup

Once smooth, you can garnish with fresh parsley or other fresh herbs.

Arabic Lentil Soup Blended

Then serve and enjoy your Arabic Lentil Soup!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to blend the soup?

You don’t, but I prefer the creamy texture when it’s blended. Many people enjoy this soup in its unblended, chunky form as well.

Where was lentil soup invented?

Versions of lentil soup are eaten in Greece, France, and all over the Middle East, and has been eaten for centuries.

Can I freeze this soup?

Absolutely. Just let the soup cool completely before adding to freezer safe bags or containers. If you use bags, I like to double bag just in case. This soup keeps in the freezer for about 3 months.

Arabic Lentil Soup Blended

More soups

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Liz eating roasted butternut squash soup

This Arabic lentil soup really embodies some of my favorite things about Middle Eastern food. It’s warm and aromatic, it’s full of fresh vegetablesG and healthy proteins, and it’s best served with your family around the table.

Your spoon is waiting.

Arabic Lentil Soup Blended

Arabic Lentil Soup

4.92 stars average
Arabic lentil soup is made with hearty vegetables and brown lentils simmered with warm spices like cinnamon and cumin then blended until smooth.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes
TOTAL: 40 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 3 stalks celery (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup brown lentils (uncooked)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  • Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add in the onions, carrots, and celery and cook until they become tender, about 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir in the garlic, cumin, and cinnamon. Heat until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Add lentils to the pan and heat 1-2 minutes to slightly toast. Pour in the chicken broth, water and lemon juice then bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30-45 minutes.
  • Right before serving, place soup in a blender and pulse until smooth and creamy, about 90 seconds. Return soup to the pot and season with additional, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste before serving warm.

Last Step:

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Serving: 16ouncesCalories: 255kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 15gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 924mgPotassium: 917mgFiber: 17gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5375IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 5mg
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14 responses to “Arabic Lentil Soup”

  1. Jodi Corrus Avatar
    Jodi Corrus

    Fantastic rainy day fall soup. I used a local spicy olive oil for more heat and also added a half can of full fat coconut milk and served with a side of homemade bruchetta to cool the heat down.

  2. Dana Avatar

    The soup is delicious but I agree with a previous comment that its a bit runny. Next time, I will hold off on adding water until the end, if needed.

  3. Suhad El Helou Avatar
    Suhad El Helou

    I really like your lentil soup, it was very easy to make and I love it!

  4. Carson Fell Avatar
    Carson Fell

    So good I recommended it to family members! I made it with vegetable bouillon and didn’t have any celery, but it was still delicious. Going into regular rotation. Thank you!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh great IDEA!!!

  5. Karen Wagner Avatar
    Karen Wagner

    Made this vegan using veg broth and it was delish! The spices popped!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh I’m so glad !!!

  6. Laurene Bolet Avatar
    Laurene Bolet

    For me, the soup was way too watery. It felt like too much liquid was added for the amount of solids. Tasted good but I would use less liquid or more lentils. I did put it in the blender but that didn’t seem to help.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so sorry it was too watery for you!! It’s usually super thick for me that I have to add more liquid!

  7. Joyce A Frasier Avatar
    Joyce A Frasier

    Your Aribic Lentil soup was definitely a keeper for me. I live alone and like the convince of making and freezing the soup for whenever i wanted a comforting meal. I served it with a loaf of crusty sourdough bread from the bakery This recipe will go in my file for comfort food on a chilly day

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So glad you enjoyed it! One of my faves too!

    2. Wilma Avatar

      Amazing way to say good-bye to cold temps.
      So delicious !!! Love the strong flavours.
      Great dose of cayenne.
      Simple fast and HEALTHY.

      1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        So glad you enjoyed!

  8. Joyce A Frasierr Avatar
    Joyce A Frasierr

    The lentil soup was so satisfying especially on the chilly day i prepared it. I served it woth a loaf of cristy sourdough bread i bought fresh from the bakery I live alone so i froze portions to heat up later that week I will add this recipie to my list of comfort foods