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Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup


Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup
Creamy, fragrant and delicious, this whole foods recipe for Middle Eastern red lentil soup has become a staple in my kitchen. It is lighter than most bean soups, with an interestingly complex flavor enhanced by a touch of lemon when serving. It makes a light, easy supper when served with pita or naan and a salad.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 6 cups broth or water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • To serve:
  • Lemon wedges
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)


Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat and add onion and garlic. Cook 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and slightly caramelized.
Add cumin, coriander, cayenne and lentils, and cook another two minutes, stirring frequently.
Add broth, 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
Puree the soup with a blender and adjust seasoning. Serve with generous wedges of lemon and a sprinkling of cilantro.
Serves 4-6
Copyright 2010 by Jen Hoy

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