Lebanese Lentil Soup

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Make a big pot of this healthy, vegetarian (and vegan) Lebanese Lentil Soup, made with green lentils, kale, sweet potato, ginger and lots of garlic and lemon.

Make a big pot of this healthy, vegetarian (and vegan) Lebanese Lentil Soup, made with green lentils, kale, sweet potato, lots of garlic, ginger, and lemon.
Lebanese Lentil Soup

This recipe makes a big batch. It is perfect for dinner, and you can freeze the rest for lunches or dinner for a busy night. I love lentil soup, so it’s the perfect soup to have in the freezer whenever a craving hits. A few of my favorites are Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Chicken and Lentil Soup.

Make a big pot of this healthy, vegetarian (and vegan) Lebanese Lentil Soup, made with green lentils, kale, sweet potato, ginger and lots of garlic and lemon.

My Lebanese friend Maria, who has the Instagram Yoga_Poze, shared her homemade Lebanese Lentil Soup recipe with me. It’s healthy and nourishing and makes enough for several meals, you can freeze the leftovers too. She adds a whole head of garlic to it, but you can use as much as you like. It was interesting how Maria added the vegetables at the end of the soup, which she does so you don’t lose any of the nutrients. I added this to my list of recipes under $10, you can see more budget recipes there.

Is lentil soup healthy?

Yes! Lentil soup is very healthy. Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and full of vitamins and minerals, like iron and folate. Not to mention, they’re a very affordable protein.

Besides all the health benefits of the lentils, this soup is packed full of vegetables. The carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, and kale add lots of nutrients.

How do you make lentil soup from scratch?

Making lentil soup is easy. The first step is to boil the lentils in water and broth and then simmer for 30 minutes. While the lentils are cooking, cut the stems and leaves of the kale.

Next, melt the butter in a medium skillet and cook the garlic for less than a minute. Mix in the cilantro and remove the pan from the heat before the cilantro cooks.

Once the lentils are soft, add in all the vegetables (except the kale leaves) and cook until those are soft for about 15 minutes. Add the cilantro/garlic and lemon, and simmer for a couple of minutes. Then, remove the pot from the heat, add in
the kale leaves, cover for ten minutes, and then serve!

What goes with lentil soup?

This green lentil soup is excellent on its own but would also be great served with some bread, like pita or crusty sourdough, and a side salad for more of a complete meal. Try my Chopped Feta Salad.

How to Freeze:

Since this recipe makes so much lentil soup, you should have plenty of leftovers. You can refrigerate the leftovers up to four days or freeze up to six months. Store the soup in freezer-safe containers or in zip-locked freezer bags and lay flat in
the freezer.

To thaw, just put the frozen soup in the refrigerator the night before you want to eat it. If you don’t have time for this step, you can also microwave frozen soup in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each interval.

Variations:

  • There are many different kinds of lentils. This recipe calls for green lentils, but if you can’t find them, you can substitute the green with brown or red lentils.
  • Swap out the kale with Swiss chard or another leafy green.
  • You can substitute the sweet potato with butternut squash.

Make a big pot of this healthy, vegetarian (and vegan) Lebanese Lentil Soup, made with green lentils, kale, sweet potato, ginger and lots of garlic and lemon.Big pot of lentil soup.Make a big pot of this healthy, vegetarian (and vegan) Lebanese Lentil Soup, made with green lentils, kale, sweet potato, ginger and lots of garlic and lemon.Make a big pot of this healthy, vegetarian (and vegan) Lebanese Lentil Soup, made with green lentils, kale, sweet potato, ginger and lots of garlic and lemon.

More Lentil Recipes You Will Love:

Make a big pot of this healthy, vegetarian (and vegan) Lebanese Lentil Soup, made with green lentils, kale, sweet potato, lots of garlic, ginger, and lemon.
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4.76 from 29 votes
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Lebanese Lentil Soup

2
6
1
SP
260 Cals 13.5 Protein 45.5 Carbs 3 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Yield: 10 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Lunch
CUISINE: Lebanese
Make a big pot of this healthy, vegetarian (and vegan) Lebanese Lentil Soup, made with green lentils, kale, sweet potato, ginger and lots of garlic and lemon.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry green lentil, rinsed (2 1/2 cups dry)
  • 2 32 ounce boxes vegetables broth (check labels for GF), about 8 cups total
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 large carrots, diced 1/4 inch
  • 3 large celery stalks, diced 1/4 inch
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced 1/4 inch (10 oz peeled)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cilantro, (1 big bunch or 2 small bunches)
  • 1 whole bulb garlic,, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger, optional
  • 6 cups 1 bunch Lacinato Kale, Swiss chard or any of your favorite greens

Instructions

  • Add the lentils to a large pot or Dutch oven and add the broth and water.
  • Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until tender, 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, wash and separate the kale leaves from the stems. Cut the stems to small cubes and cut the leaves in large pieces.
  • In a medium skillet melt the butter and add the garlic, cook for less than 1 minute, (don’t burn) then add the cilantro, mix it until it softens and remove from heat immediately (the cilantro should stay almost raw green) set aside.
  • Once the lentils are soft add all the vegetables celery, carrots, sweet potato, kale stems and ginger and cook until soft, 15 minutes.
  • Once they become soft add the mix of cilantro and garlic along with the lemon on simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the greens, cover the pot 10 minutes, then mix the soup and serve. Makes 16 cups.

Notes

You can use less garlic if you wish, we like it garlicky but 4 to 5 cloves would work.

Nutrition

Serving: 11/2 heaping cups, Calories: 260kcal, Carbohydrates: 45.5g, Protein: 13.5g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1.5g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 275.5mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 6g
Blue Smart Points: 2
Green Smart Points: 6
Purple Smart Points: 1
Keywords: lentil soup, vegetarian lentil soup

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59 comments

  1. This is one of the best soups I have ever had! And, that’s saying something since I’m not a vegetable soup person or have really ever liked lentils. 🙂 Everything just comes together and is wonderful. My husband did a lentil fast and ate this soup for 40 days and still loves it! I will say that you need to be a little flexible on cook times since I found different brand lentils need to be cooked for different amounts of time and vegetables also need a little extra sometimes, but just keep checking now and then for softness and you’ll be fine. It also took me longer to prep than it said, but I’m not the fastest chef, so that might just be me.

  2. Very hearty soup, great for cold weather.  Lots of ginger and garlic and lemon flavor – I definitely agree with using the entire garlic bulb. 

  3. Can I do this in the slow cooker? 

  4. Can I do this in the slow cooker? 

  5. Super tasty and filling. I was a little shocked by how much garlic was going in it, but it wasn’t too much. Would definitely make again.

  6. My husband and I loved this one! This will be making it into our monthly rotation because it was that good. Thank you so much!

  7. Delicious! Easy to make. I just love your soups. The only change I made was using chicken stock instead of water. Will definately make this again

  8. This soup sounds like the perfect way for me to use up some of my CSA share this week! But I hate cilantro – will it still have flavor if I skip it? Or is there a different herb I could sub? I will include the ginger, because I love it!

  9. This is delicious and so garlicky!!! Yum!!! I used baby kale and didn’t chop the stems up.

  10. Hi, I love all the spinach in this week’s meal plan but I have a son with a spinach allergy. We don’t prefer kale. I sub spinach for swiss chard in the lentils. The stuffed chickens on Saturday, is where spinach replacement seems difficult. Thank you for your time. Mandy Sanchez ( first week of meal planning, it will make counting macros soo much easier.) Thank you!

  11. The first time I made this I made half a recipe because I don’t adore lentils and I am not a kale/Swiss Chard fan. Oops! I love this soup. The garlic and cilantro are great and the lemon adds such a nice depth. My only quibble is it took a while to chop everything a 1/4 “, more than 10 minutes. But, this soup is wonderful!

  12. Hi Gina,

    Do you have an IP version of this recipe?

    Thank you,
    Mary

  13. Would this soup be okay to freeze?

    P.S. First time commenting, but thank you so much for all the recipes! I’ve lost 120 lbs cooking your recipes almost every day. Just 33 lbs to go!

  14. A huge hit with every one!   Will definitely be making again.   

  15. I became wary and halved the recipe, which was a mistake. It is an excellent soup/stew and tasted great. (and it oozed health!) I did use chicken broth rather than vegetable broth and I did increase the lemon juice at bit and my partner put a flavored balsamic on his. If you can prep the vegetables early, then it is a total snap to make.

  16. Loved the flavors of this soup, but the garlic was a tiny bit too much for me (and I love garlic). Next time I will probably dial back how much I use, and may soften it a bit more before adding it to the liquid so it has time to sweeten and caramelize. It’s the next day, and I’m still tasting last night’s dinner!

  17. I made the Labenesa stew you said on the ww blue plan it’s only 2 points. But when I put in the calculator is said it was 7sp. 

  18. I am obsessed with this recipe. Have made it a number of times already. Such complexity of flavors, especially with the lemon and ginger. It has become my all time favorite soup recipe!

  19. Utterly delicious! The broth is savory and bright. I will be making this soup often.

  20. Better than I expected! So many veggies in this

  21. This one was a miss for me. I ended up adding the juice of 3 lemons to be able to even taste the lemon at all. It was just very bland.

  22. I’m made this soup and it was super yummy! The only problem is for left overs, almost all the juice is gone. What would you recommend to keep it juicy?

  23. First ime I made Lentil soup. This was delicious. I did not have vegetable broth so I had to use organic low sodium chicken broth. I also added some leeks and I roasted my butternut squash, carrots and 7 bulbs of garlic. I to was alittle nervous about using the bunch of cilantro. I love the combination of the ginger, cilantro and lemon juice. I will definitely be making this again. Love it ! Thanks Gina

  24. I followed the recipe exactly, even though the bulk of cilantro and garlic made me nervous, and it came out fantastic. My mother-in-law is a soup nut, and she raved about it. She asked if I would sub butternut squash for the sweet potato, next time, and I’m sure that will work just fine. My first homemade lentil soup – a keeper.

  25. Made this tonight with Swiss chard and garlic from my garden. I absolutely love it! The ginger and lemon are sooooo good.

  26. So this is my husband’s favorite vegan meal. My only comment is only use green lentils as red lentils cook way faster and turned my last attempt to mush.

  27. This is delicious!

  28. Best lentil soup I have ever made

  29. This was surprisingly delish! The lemon adds a brightness that lentil soups usually lack. Thank you!

  30. For some reason I am getting a completely different calorie calculation on this one. For 10 servings I have it at 127 calories (which I would prefer!!) 

    Either way I can’t wait to try this tonight! GINA your recipes have become a Covid staple!!!! I’ve been making one a day! 

  31. Has anyone substituted butternut squash for the sweet potato and spinach for the kale?  It just happens to be what I have on hand at the moment, but am hesitant to try since our state is on COVID shelter in place orders.  I think it might work, but would love to hear from someone who has made the substitutions.

    • So, I made it with the butternut squash and spinach.  I should NEVER doubt the flavor of one of these recipes!   It was FABULOUS!!  Thank you Gina!!!

  32. Hi GINA!  I’ve never commented before and want to thank you as I have been following and using your recipes since 2012 after I had my first son (now have 5!!) and weighed over 200lbs when he was born.  My pre pregnancy weight was 130!  Your recipes were pivotal in me losing all the weight and maintaining as well as keeping our family healthy!  Great soup and thank you again!!!

  33. Using cooked lentils. Should I reduce the amount of water, or use no water and just use the broth?

    • I would start with just the broth and then add water as needed once you cook the veggies to achieve the texture and consistency you like.

  34. Delicious lentil soup , easy to make and great for WW 

  35. So good! It’s amazing how much flavor the garlic, ginger, and cilantro lend the soup. It’s also possible to make a half batch – I did so without any issues.

  36. Can we use bottled minced garlic?

  37. This is very good! I added extra salt and lemon and it was excellent. 

  38. Can you recommend how much minced garlic to use? I don’t have A bulb of garlic on hand. 

  39. Thank you for the recipe. I didnt have kale so I used spinach instead. I also opted out the cilantro because I am one of those people for whom it tastes like soap :(.. it was good i served it with park cheese on top to round out the flavor.

  40. I love Lentil Soup and have a favorite recipe called Chunky Lentil Soup. This recipe may be my new favorite!
    I substituted spinach for the kale as I had it on hand. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as written, wondering for a minute if it might be too bland. No, the garlic, ginger and lemon punch up the flavor! So delicious! Thank you for this! I did use the Instant Pot and I followed the recommendation of cutting cooking times in half. Next time, I will reduce the time the cooking time after adding the vegetables, maybe to 5 minutes instead of seven.

  41. Thank you for sharing.  This is meatless for Good Friday and believe it or not it snowed today in Ohio so it is the perfect soup.  It takes a while to cool down enough to eat it so I recommend pouring the bowls and waiting another 10 minutes so you don’t sweat and burn your mouth like I did.  I just couldn’t resist.

  42. May I use red lentils or brown lentils?

  43. Can you make this in instant pot?

  44. Can you recommend a cilantro substitute for this dish?  I don’t have any on hand. Parsley?  Or should I just leave it out?

  45. I think it’s a great soup, but (forgive me), I don’t see how it’s considered Lebanese. I know mujadara hamra as Lebanese.

  46. This is pretty much exactly how my Lebanese mother makes lentil soup! If you can find it, dandelion greens are a beautiful replacement for the kale!