Lebanese lentil soup

    3 hours 30 min

    Lentils, lemon juice, fresh herbs and greens go into this version of a traditional Lebanese-style lentil soup. Serve with some warm pitta for a delicious meal!

    35 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 1 (500g) container chicken stock
    • 1.4L (2 3/8 pints) water
    • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 3 sprigs flat leaf parsley
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1L (1 3/4 pints) water
    • 275g (10 oz) dried brown lentils, rinsed and drained
    • 675g (1 1/2 lb) Swiss chard - rinsed, stems removed and thinly sliced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • good handful chopped fresh coriander
    • 100ml (4 fl oz) lemon juice
    • salt to taste
    • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:3hr  ›  Ready in:3hr30min 

    1. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock, 1.4L water, 1 small onion, bay leaf, parsley and thyme. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Strain, and reserve 1L (1 3/4 pints) of the stock for the recipe. Reserve the remaining stock for other uses.
    2. Pour the stock into a large soup pot, and add 1L water to it. Stir in lentils, and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 1 hour.
    3. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the large onion, and cook until transparent, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, and cook for just a minute, until fragrant. Place the chard in the pan, and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. The smells here are gorgeous!
    4. Transfer the chard and onion mixture to the pot with the lentils. Stir in the coriander and lemon juice. Season with salt and additional lemon if desired. Simmer covered for an additional 15 minutes before serving. Serve with lemon wedges.


    You could easily make a vegetarian version of this soup by using vegetable stock instead of chicken.

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    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (25)


    Very good, filling, great taste, and healthy. However, I found the length of the cooking times to be absurd and unnecessarily long. The first cooking time (for the broth), I cut back to 30 min; also, I used all the broth and only added a little extra water. I cooked the lentils for about 30 minutes, until tender but not mushy, the way I like them, and I did not simmer it a full 15 minutes after adding the remaning ingredients. I think this would also be very good with spinach or any other green in place of the chard.  -  14 Oct 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I highly recommend, the dark greens are so tasty in this soup unfortunetly the lemon really over powered the flavors, because of this the soup tasted better the next night. I'll make again with half the lemon suggested.  -  20 Apr 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I loved this soup! I was skeptical about the quantity of broth and water called for, but after all of that simmering, you end up with the right amount. I made this vegetarian by using veg broth instead of chicken. I went a littler heavier on the thyme sprigs and used a little less than 1/2 cup of lemon juice. I suggest adding 1/4 cup at first, tasting it and then adding lemon as needed. The soup has a lot of depth when it comes to flavor and the lemon and thyme have your taste buds craving more. I highly recommend this wonderful, hearty soup!  -  19 Nov 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)