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Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon

Lentils and spinach soup get a boost of flavor from cinnamon, cumin and garlic.

Lebanese Lentil and Spinach Soup

In case you hadn’t noticed, I am mildly obsessed with lemon. My chicken is tenderized with it, my salads are dressed with it and quite frankly, my kitchen hand soap is scented with it. When I had a cold growing up, my mother would always make me Syrian Chicken Soup. It is just like regular chicken soup except we add lemon juice, chickpeas, and spinach.

Similar to our chicken soup, my family also adds lemon juice and greens to our lentil soup. This hearty meal-in-a-bowl is the perfect solution for anyone looking to eat less meat. As I’ve said before, I love meat just as much as the next gal, but I try to eat as much organic meat as possible. Organic meat is a bit pricey so I have found ways to incorporate other forms of protein into our diet that are a bit more budget-friendly.

Lentils are amazing!

Lentils are cheap, hearty, delicious, and quick cooking. Lentils contain cholesterol-lowering fiber and have also been proven to help regulate blood sugar levels. 

One cup of cooked lentils will only cost you 230 calories.  They also provide excellent sources of two types of B Vitamins, iron, potassium and folate, just to name a few.

My Lemony Lentil Soup with Spinach is a fabulous and filling main course full of protein and fiber, minus the saturated fat and cholesterol that is typically associated with sources of protein. It is so healthy you won’t feel an ounce of guilt splurging on that ice cream cone after dinner. (Not that I’ve ever had that experience.)

Your spoon is waiting.

Lebanese Lentil and Spinach Soup

Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon

4.72 stars average
Lentils and spinach soup get a boost of flavor from cinnamon, cumin and garlic.
PREP: 15 mins
COOK: 1 hr
TOTAL: 1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients
 

  • 2 c carrots (chopped)
  • 2 c celery (chopped)
  • 2 c onions (diced)
  • 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 2 tbs cumin
  • 1 c lentils (rinsed and sorted)
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 4 c water
  • 4 c chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 boxes frozen leaf spinach (each box should be 10oz. Thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture)
  • 1 Juice of lemon

Instructions
 

  • Spray a large soup pot with non-stick spray and heat over medium-high.
  • Sautee carrots, celery, onions and garlic for 3-6 minutes or until they start to tenderize.
  • Add salt and pepper to season and help release juices.
  • Add cinnamon and cumin directly to the vegetables and stir.
  • Cook for an additional 2 minutes to bring out spices.
  • Add lentils and sautee an additional 2 minutes.
  • Season with pepper and add water, chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce for 30-45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Just before serving, add spinach and lemon juice. Bring to a boil then simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Feel free to add more cinnamon, cumin, salt or pepper.
  • Remove bay leaf before serving.

Notes

Excellent source of Vitamin A and Iron. Good source of Vitamin C and Calcium.

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 25.5gProtein: 9.6gFat: 0.8gSodium: 524mgFiber: 10.7g
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Liz DellaCroce

Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families.

16 Comments

  1. This looks really delicious and healthy! I’ve been eating a lot of soups to increase my breastmilk supply and I can’t wait to try this. They say warm soups help with breastmilk supply and I think it’s true since my supply is now overflowing.

  2. I made this yesterday. I think it’s my first experience with cinnamon in a non-sweet dish. It may also be the first Middle Eastern thing I’ve eaten (definitely the first one I’ve made). I got and used frozen spinach in leaf form rather than chopped due to a comment up yonder mentioning fresh spinach was used. That did this no good in the end, as it was all clumpy and stringy and hard to eat and stir. One roommate (the one who wasn’t ultimately too grossed out to eat it) said it was a dish that “defied silverware,” as it seemed to call for a fork yet had too much liquid for a fork to work effectively. I’m wondering now, though, if I was too aggressive on squeezing moisture out of the spinach. I’ve never worked with frozen spinach before… It ended up in palm-sized patties after I squished out as much liquid as I could. Any advice on that? I might just have to use chopped spinach next time… But ultimately this is delicious! The flavors are gentle and interesting. It’s very hearty. I went for seconds and regretted it once the lentils settled… lol My roomie had a smaller-than-usual serving and was satisfied with it. I might just have to use lentils more often. It might make food last longer! Thanks so much for the recipe! I’m going to excuse myself to go eat dinner now… that includes leftovers. :D

    1. Hi Sherwood – I’m so glad you wrote because this is a staple in our house and one we eat and enjoy all the time. First, I highly suggest using fresh spinach if possible. We like to add it in at the very end before serving. Second, if you can’t do fresh we use frozen loose spinach, not chopped. The chopped spinach will change the texture entirely. I’ll be sure to update the notes in the recipe to make sure this is more clear! I hope you try it again!

      1. How much fresh spinach should be used? And if I were to use frozen again, how would you suggest I squeeze it to remove excess moisture? I think I may have overdone it and that’s what caused it to be so lumpy and stringy.
        On a different note, when I added the cinnamon and cumin, it burned to the bottom of my pot pretty quickly. I think that might be why my soup turned out so dark instead of the nice light-looking stuff in your photo (it does not look like cinnamon is in there… lol). I’d kept the heat at medium-high, as that was the last heat setting mentioned (I had to guess what to turn it down to when you said “reduce”… but now that I’m re-reading the instructions, I think you meant reduce the soup, not the heat. Crap.). What did I do wrong there? Is there some way I can avoid that? Thanks so much!

        1. Use as much or as little fresh spinach as you like! We love it so usually 6 cups fresh but you could go up or down from that. It cooks way down as you know. As for the cinnamon and cumin, if it burned you might need to turn the heat down a bit or add some olive oil to the pan. Hope that helps!

          1. It does. Thank you! I feel a little better prepared for giving this another shot. :) Thanks again for sharing this recipe.

        2. I enjoyed this b/c I always have lentils in the house. They’re inexpensive and substantial. And healthy! I only had one cup of celery, so I added a package of Bella mushrooms – which I think added wonderful texture. I used an organic vegetable stock, since it was all I had in the house (instead of 4 cups water, 4 cups stock, I just did 8 cups of stock). And finally, a full 11 oz package of fresh organic spinach (fresh always better for soups I think). The soup was fantastic. Very aromatic, w/ the blend of the cumin & cinnamon. I only wish I could pull the lemon juice flavor out of the soup. I had one lemon in the house, and I will next time add extra – since I too love lemon. In the end, it was a great soup to simmer in a dutch oven on a crisp fall day. Though I am not partaking right now in a fast, I think it is a wonderfully appropriate recipe to submit to a Daniel-fast type recipe book/blog, since all the ingredients are appropriate for the religious diet, if veggies are sauteed in olive oil vs butter. Thanks !

        3. oh definitely making this soon. i just put it in my weight watchers calculator and it comes out to 4 pts per serving. I’m assuming this is 1 cup per serving?

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