Middle Eastern Lentil Soup


Near my husband’s workplace is a little place called Pita Land.   It’s located in Brookline and is my primary source for beans and lentils (among other things) when making recipes such as ful medames and this lentil soup.

It’s simple, nutritious, and packed with flavor.  Make a batch for weekday lunches.  Or, serve for dinner as a comforting end to a hectic day.

Middle Eastern Lentil Soup

Yield: 7 servings

Serving Size: 12 ounces

Middle Eastern Lentil Soup


  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound orange or red lentils
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste


  1. Using a 12-inch skillet or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onions and cook until mostly caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  3. While the onions are caramelizing, soak the lentils.
  4. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds
  5. Stir in the cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Don't burn!
  6. Drain the lentils. Add lentils and chicken stock to the skillet. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are very well done.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Puree with an immersion blender.
  9. Stir in lemon juice.
  10. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread.


Calories: 297 Fat: 7g Carbs: 42g Fiber: 10g Protein: 18g


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