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Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup

The snow is gone, but the cold is still here. Warm your heart with this soup that I learned from my mama. It makes getting vegetables in easier, and it has a creamy texture without any cream.

The lentils traditionally used in this Middle Eastern recipe are red. You can find then in most ethnic stores, international isles in regular stores (look at Middle Eastern, Indian, or Spanish), or you can order them online here.

And since the vegetables will go in a blender, just chop them coarsely. Isn’t that much easier?


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 c red lentils, rinse with water once
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 russet potato
  • 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with juiceed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • lemon juice (to taste)


Heat the oil in a large pot. Saute the olive and garlic. Add the lentils, carrots, potatoes, diced tomatoes, and spices (except for lemon juice). Add water to cover vegetables plus an inch over. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat about 30-45 minutes, until all vegetables are soft.

Transfer to a blender and puree. You might need to do that in 2 batches.

Serve warm. You can garnish with fresh parsley. Squeeze some lemon juice on individual bowls.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Stef February 22, 2010, 5:23 pm

    i’ve just started eating red lentils and i LOVE them. they are so photogenic too :). thanks for sharing these middle eastern flavors, sounds wonderful

  • Kathryn February 22, 2010, 8:47 pm

    Wow – this looks delicious! I almost always hesitant with recipes that pair tomatoes and beans for some reason … but the picture sold me. I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for sharing!

  • Nour El-Zibdeh, RD February 22, 2010, 9:26 pm

    Stef: Thanks! This is really flavorful, make sure you add the lemon. Also, you can top it with crunchy croutons or pita chips.

    Kethryn: Thanks! Never worried about beans and tomatoes before. Check this one out, it’s tomatoes and white beans (cannelini) ( Let me know if you like any of them.

    Have a good night!

  • TwinToddlersDad February 22, 2010, 10:49 pm

    Lentils are our favorite! This soup recipe looks great.We like to garnish with cilantro.

    • Nour El-Zibdeh, RD February 23, 2010, 8:47 am

      Thanks TwinToddlerDad! cilantro works too but it tends to have stronger (little more bitter too) taste. But if your family and your kids eat it, then great!

      Thanks Nicole, pureeing works magic I need a new blender though 🙂 What else did you put in your soup? I’m always into trying new things.

  • Nicole, RD February 23, 2010, 8:22 am

    I made a tomato lentil soup similar to this last week (delicious) and I love the idea of pureeing it. My husband isn’t a fan of the texture of lentils, so maybe a little puree job could get him to enjoy tomato lentil soup!

  • farah February 25, 2010, 3:39 pm

    YUM it looks amazing…. i need to make this! oh, and if you are soup savvy you should definitely invest in a hand blender! It makes life so much easier because you dont have to transfer into another thing… it saves time cleaning up the inevitable mess you leave behind tranfering, and cleaning extra dishes!

    • Nour El-Zibdeh, RD February 25, 2010, 3:43 pm

      Thanks Farah. Do you recommend a specific hand blender brand? Would it scratch pans?

  • shayma March 3, 2010, 12:04 pm

    the recipes one learns from one’s maman are always the best ones. lovely blog you have here. best wishes, shayma

    • Nour El-Zibdeh, RD March 4, 2010, 9:27 am

      Thanks Shayma for the sweet comment! Yes, mom and grand-mom food is the best!

  • Michael October 23, 2013, 1:30 pm

    Wow, so many delicious-looking recipes. If I ever write about lentil recipes, I’m probably going to link back to you, haha! Great!