Lebanese Lentil Soup with Greens

4.09 stars average

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A traditional Lebanese lentil soup, lentils and vegetables are cooked with healthy greens in a lemony broth scented with warm cinnamon and cumin. 

Spoonful of Lebanese lentil soup with greens.

While every season is soup season in our house, it definitely hits the spot when the temperature turns colder. A recipe from my childhood, my mom made this traditional Syrian/Lebanese lentil soup for us frequently growing up. It’s delicious, and also gluten-free and vegan, so everyone can enjoy it! Packed with plenty of bright lemon juice, warm cinnamon, and fragrant cumin, this is one of those soups that tastes even better the next day or even the day after that! Ideal for freezing, gifting to a new mom, or eating throughout the week for lunch, just one serving will leave you full and satisfied for hours. We also love serving it for dinner with warm pita bread, hummus, and a Syrian salad.

Ingredients

Ingredients for Lebanese lentil soup.
  • Olive oil: A heart healthy oil used to cook the vegetables.
  • Onion: I use a white or yellow onion for a milder flavor that cooks down easily with the celery and carrots.
  • Carrots: Firmer in texture, even once cooked, carrots are also slightly sweet in taste.
  • Celery: Very mild in flavor, but full of vitamins and nutrients.
  • Garlic: Cooks to be a bit sweet, nutty, and pungent in taste.
  • Cumin & cinnamon: Some warm spices to give the soup that signature Lebanese flare.
  • Lentils: You could use any color lentil, but I’ll usually use brown or green lentils. They’re a great source of fiber, protein, and iron.
  • Chicken broth: Makes for a flavorful base for the soup.
  • Lemon juice: Bright, fresh flavor and a bit of acidity to balance the soup.
  • Spinach: Mild, earthy taste, but a great source of iron and antioxidants.

How to Make Lebanese Lentil Soup with Greens

Grating garlic into pot

Start your Lebanese lentil soup with greens by heating the olive oil in the bottom of a large soup pot. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until they begin to soften. Then use a microplane to grate the garlic cloves into the pot along with the cinnamon and cumin. Stir and cook until fragrant.

Stirring lebanese lentil soup

Then add the lentils to the pot and toast for a couple minutes before adding the chicken broth and water. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender.

Adding spinach to soup

Add in the spinach leaves and cook for just a couple minutes until greens are wilted.

Squeezing lemon juice into soup

Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice, and season with some salt and black pepper.

Lebanese Lentil Soup

Serve garnished with fresh parsley, and enjoy your Lebanese Lentil Soup with Greens!

Frequently Asked Questions

What color lentils are best for soup?

Green or brown lentils are good for soups to be eaten whole, whereas red and yellow are great in blends or purees, or curries.

Which lentils are best for body?

When it comes to nutrition, black lentils are the best for you. But all lentils are healthy and good for you.

Do you have to soak lentils for soup?

No you do not! I always recommend rinsing your lentils before cooking them, but they don’t need to be soaked like beans.

Lebanese Lentil Soup wide

More Soup Recipes

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Liz eating Lebanese lentil soup with greens.

Warm, comforting, and filling any day of the week, my Lebanese Lentil Soup with Greens will be great for the whole family. Let me know how you like it in the comments!

Your spoon is waiting.

Lebanese Lentil Soup

Lebanese Lentil Soup with Greens

4.09 stars average
A traditional Lebanese soup, lentils and vegetables are cooked with healthy greens in a lemony broth scented with warm cinnamon and cumin. 
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 45 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour
Servings4

Ingredients
 

  • 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
  • 1 cup brown lentils (uncooked)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cups spinach

Instructions
 

  • 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, stir in the spinach and cook until bright green and wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with additional, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste before serving warm.

Last Step:

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Nutrition

Serving: 2cupsCalories: 287kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 17gFat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 975mgPotassium: 1317mgFiber: 21gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 10915IUVitamin C: 55.7mgCalcium: 217mgIron: 8.5mg
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14 responses to “Lebanese Lentil Soup with Greens”

  1. Leah Lockhart Avatar
    Leah Lockhart

    Thank you for this recipe! While in college I worked in a Lebanese restaurant and have been aching for the lentil soup they served. I’ve tried a few recipes and this is the closest yet! It’s good as written, but for my tastes after my first batch I decided to reduce the cinnamon to one tsp and add a tsp of cardamom which was delicious. I might experiment with a 7-spice mix to get it exactly the way I remember.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh yay! So glad you enjoyed it and have found ways to make it to your liking.

    2. Diana Thompson Avatar
      Diana Thompson

      So funny you should say that! I used to work next to a Lebanese restaurant during college and as often as I could afford I would buy their lentil soup. They knew I was a working girl (ahem! In retail) so always gave me a generous helping!

  2. LISA Avatar
    LISA

    I made this soup last night. It was not one of my favorites. I am so glad that I try new recipes. I’m still eating it. I know it’s healthy and packed with good stuff.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m sorry you didnt enjoy it. Have you tried my other soups? https://thelemonbowl.com/soup/

  3. Rick Avatar
    Rick

    AWESOME

  4. Rizia Avatar
    Rizia

    Just made it, DELICIOUS ????

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So glad you enjoyed it!!

  5. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
    Liz DellaCroce

    Hi Amy – I am so sorry that should have said teaspoons. Please accept my heart felt apologies for the type-o. In the future, a great way to fix it would be to add more broth or water. Again, I am truly sorry for the human error! The recipe has been fixed.

  6. Sabrina Avatar
    Sabrina

    what a lovely recipe, a nice change for me and happy to see it still packs a healthy dose of protein, thank you!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I hope you love it!

  7. Jett Whitfield Avatar
    Jett Whitfield

    Oh my goodness! This soup looks so comforting. Thank you for sharing =)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I hope you love that Jett!

      1. Jett Whitfield Avatar
        Jett Whitfield

        Oh I’m sure we will! Thanks again =)