Lebanese lemon lentil soup

    2 hours 5 min

    This wonderful comfort soup is a balance of lemon, salt, heat and savoury herbs. Serve it on a cold day. Can be made vegan, vegetarian or with chicken.

    4 people made this

    Serves: 10 

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 2 sticks celery with leaves, diced
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 1.5L water
    • 400g French green lentils
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 tablespoon salt, or more to taste
    • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 50g butter (optional)
    • 125g plain flour (optional)
    • To serve
    • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • freshly ground black pepper

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr35min  ›  Ready in:2hr5min 

    1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook and stir onion, celery and carrots until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add water, lentils, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, salt, coriander, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper; stir to incorporate. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 hours.
    2. Make a roux by whisking butter and flour together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; stir constantly until thickened and paste-like, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, until light brown, about 20 more minutes. Whisk roux into finished soup, a spoonful at a time, until smooth and creamy.
    3. Serve with lemon wedges, parsley and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper.

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    Reviews in English (51)


    I call shenanigans! The soup is delicious, but that step at the end where you add butter/flour is completely incorrect. This is the basis for any béchamel sauce or gravy, but a cup of flour will NOT be incorporated into 1/4c of any fat. The ratio is normally 1 T fat (butter) to 1 T flour to 1 cup liquid. When mixed this way the "paste" will not take on any more flour than about a half a cup and even then it starts separating and turning into crumbles and will not blend into the soup without creating lumps. I tried this as written, even though I knew it wouldn't work and I am right. Even with a half a cup of flour, I had to add 2 cups of water, take it off the stove, use a stick blender to smooth the lumps, and then added maybe 1/4 of that into the soup. If you want to add this step, and it does add a lusciousness that elevates it from the standard lentil soup, I suggest 2 T butter and 2 T flour. If you toast the flour in the pan over medium heat while stirring before adding the butter, you'll cut down on time and have a better product. But again, the soup itself is really tasty and has the perfect amount of spice. I used both french and brown lentils and added a half cup of chives and extra parsley since I'll soon lose my fresh herbs to frost.  -  14 Nov 2013  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This soup is absolutely exquisite!!! I made it for my family last night and not a single drop was left in the pot. It is hearty and very very rich!  -  03 Jul 2012  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This is delicious, but definitely not a soup. I followed the directions exactly , using dried lentils, and after cooking for 1 hour, all the liquid had been absorbed. It makes a great side dish if you substitute chicken broth fir the water. I also did not use the butter and flour at the end, for obvious reasons.  -  11 Aug 2012  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)