As the scorching summer heat fades away, the cool breeze of autumn brings with it an irresistible craving for something warm and hearty. If you are searching for a Middle Eastern comfort food recipe that will leave you feeling satisfied and cozy, then nothing beats a steamy bowl of Arabic Lentil Soup, also known as Shorbat Adas.
This soup is a staple in many Middle Eastern countries, making it evident how popular this dish is. From the fragrant aroma to its satisfying taste, there’s a reason why Arabic lentil soup is a beloved household recipe in the region. Whether you’re from the Middle East or not, this nutritious and flavorful soup is bound to become your new favorite.
The base consists of brown, green or red lentils simmered with vegetables such as onions, garlic, celery, carrot and sometimes potatoes. The unique flavors come from spices like cumin, turmeric, ground cardamom and red pepper flakes. The combination of flavors creates a broth that’s earthy, warming and so soul-satisfying that it can make any day better.
So whether you’re feeling unwell or just looking for a delicious recipe to enjoy on cozy nights with your loved ones, I highly recommend this recipe. Trust me; you won’t regret it.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Picture this – you come home after a long and tiring day, and all you want is something warm and comforting to soothe your tired soul. That’s where this Arabic Lentil Soup comes in.
Trust me; you will fall head over heels in love with this soup! Every spoonful of the tender lentils, the fragrant spices, and the crispy vegetables will make you feel like you’re diving into a bowl of warm goodness. This soup isn’t just any soup! It has a unique combination of flavors that will leave your taste buds dancing.
If you are a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine or just looking for something simple, comforting and hearty to serve your family during the colder months, look no further. This lentil soup is full of bold flavors that anyone can appreciate, even picky eaters who usually shy away from legumes.
You’ll love this recipe because it is easy to make, requires staple ingredients you may already have on hand and versatile enough to serve as a main dish, side dish or appetizer. Plus, it’s healthy! Lentils are packed with protein and fiber— so, not only will you be enjoying a delicious meal but also fueling your body with important nutrients.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and let’s whip up a batch of the most scrumptious lentil soup you’ve ever tasted. You won’t find anything quite like it elsewhere!
Lentils and Vegetables
- 2 cups dry lentils or red lentils
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 celery ribs, roughly chopped
- 1 potato, peeled and roughly chopped
Seasonings and Spices
- 2 low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes
- 8 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or 6 cardamom pods
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley or dried parsley
This Arabic lentil soup recipe requires a humble list of ingredients that can easily be found in any pantry. Lentils are essential for the soup base, while onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes add a sweet flavor and texture. The spices are what give this soup an authentic Middle Eastern flavor. Cardamom pods and cumin add warm earthy flavors to the soup while turmeric adds vibrant colors to the dish. Along with red pepper flakes, these spices also offer notable health benefits. Garlic, olive oil, and parsley come together to provide the complete delicious taste of the recipe. With this simple inventory list, you will be making a flavorful pot of Arabic lentil soup in no time!
The Recipe How-To
Now that we know the ingredients and why Arabic Lentil Soup is so amazing, let’s go over the steps to create this heavenly dish.
Step 1: Preparing the Vegetables
Start by dicing up 1 large onion, 2 medium carrots, and 2 celery ribs. Mince 2 garlic cloves and set aside.
Step 2: Cooking the Vegetables
In a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the diced onions for about 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add in the diced carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Sauté for another 5-7 minutes or until they have slightly softened.
Step 3: Seasoning the Vegetables
Now it’s time to season the vegetables. Add in 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon turmeric, and ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom to the pot. Then stir in 8 cups of water and 2 low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes.
Step 4: Adding Lentils
It’s time for the star ingredient! Rinse 2 cups of dry lentils and add them to the pot with a bay leaf. Give everything a good stir and cover the pot with a lid.
Step 5: Simmering
Let everything simmer on low heat for about an hour or until the lentils are tender. Ensure that you occasionally stir so that nothing burns at the bottom of the pot.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
Once your lentils are cooked, turn off the heat, remove bay leaves, and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before blending smooth with an immersion blender or in batches using your blender. It is important not to fill up your blender entirely with hot soup as it’s a safety hazard – I suggest filling it only one-third of the way full until blended smooth.
Once everything is blended well, return it to a clean pot over low heat to warm through gently before serving.
Enjoy your heartwarming bowl of Arabic Lentil Soup!
Substitutions and Variations
When it comes to substitutions and variations for arabic lentil soup, there are many ways to tweak this warm and comforting dish to suit your taste buds. Here are a few ideas:
– Lentils: While red lentils are the classic choice for Arabic lentil soup, you can also try using brown or green lentils. Green lentils will hold their shape better and provide a firmer texture, while brown lentils will give you a creamier texture.
– Vegetables: You can experiment with different vegetables in your soup as well. Try swapping out the celery or carrots for other veggies like kale or spinach, or adding some roasted sweet potato chunks for extra sweetness.
– Spices: Arabic lentil soup is typically seasoned with a combination of cardamom, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. If you prefer milder or hotter flavors, adjust the amount of spices accordingly.
– Broth: Don’t have chicken bouillon cubes on hand? Use vegetable broth instead for a vegetarian version of the soup.
– Toppings: Finish off your bowl of Arabic lentil soup with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or cilantro for added freshness and flavor. You could also drizzle on some olive oil before serving for extra richness.
Remember, cooking is all about experimentation and making the dish your own. Feel free to play around with different ingredients until you find the perfect combination that satisfies your cravings!
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving and pairing Arabic lentil soup, options abound! The warm and comforting nature of this soup makes it perfect for cool autumn and winter evenings. You might want to complement it with a side of freshly baked naan or pita bread, or you can go for some croutons if you prefer a crispy bite. A dollop of sour cream or yogurt would be a lovely addition too.
This flavorful soup combines well with various flavors and textures. Adding some chopped fresh parsley on top will add some zing and bring out the natural earthy flavor of the lentils. You can also sprinkle some black pepper or red pepper flakes to spice up your soup bowl.
If you are trying to keep things simple or are pressed for time, serving it as-is will do just fine. Also, the vegan-friendly nature of this dish makes it an appealing choice for those on plant-based diets.
As far as beverage pairing goes, Arabic lentil soup goes beautifully with a glass of red wine, particularly Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, which have a robust enough taste to cope with the boldness of this flavorful soup.
Now that you know how flexible this recipe is, get creative with your serving suggestions and most importantly, enjoy!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
As with most soups, this Arabic lentil soup can be prepped ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready to serve. In fact, the flavors will continue to meld together as it sits, making it even more delicious on the second or third day.
To make it ahead of time, simply follow the recipe instructions and let the soup cool down completely to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in your refrigerator for up to four days.
When you’re ready to serve, reheat the soup on medium heat in a pot on your stove or in the microwave until it’s heated through. If the soup has become too thick while being stored, add some water or chicken stock to thin it out.
If you want to freeze the soup for an even longer period of time, freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. When reheating frozen soup, simply let it thaw overnight in your refrigerator before reheating as mentioned above.
One important thing to keep in mind is that lentils tend to absorb liquid over time, so when reheating leftovers, you might need to add a bit more water or chicken stock to loosen things up.
With these storing and reheating tips in mind, you can easily make a big batch of this aromatic Arabic lentil soup ahead of time and enjoy it all week long!
Tips for Perfect Results
If you want to make the best Arabic Lentil Soup, I have some tips that will help you achieve a perfect result. First of all, it is important to choose high-quality ingredients. Buying fresh produce, such as onions, celery, carrots, and garlic, will ensure that your soup has the best flavor. Additionally, using good quality chicken bouillon cubes will elevate the taste of your soup.
The key spice in this soup is cardamom. For optimal flavor, use both ground cardamom and cardamom pods for cooking. Toasting them before use will also bring out their flavor profile. The recipe specifies using low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes, but taste the soup before adding any additional salt. The cubes may already contain sufficient sodium for adequate seasoning.
Another essential element of making a great soup is to cook it slowly over low heat. This will help all the flavors meld together and create a more robust taste. It is best not to rush this process by turning up the heat too high or cooking for shorter amounts of time.
When it comes to lentils, be sure to sort them and rinse them well before cooking to remove any debris or dirt. Red lentils usually do not require pre-soaking ahead of time if you are using them only for soups like this one.
Also important is to chop all of the vegetables into uniform sizes. This ensures that they will cook evenly and produce a smoother texture in the soup when blended together.
Lastly, let the lentil soup rest for a few minutes before serving to allow all of the flavors to expand and develop their maximum potential. Add a splash of fresh lemon juice for a tangy addition and extra brightness in every spoonful!
As we come to the end of this Arabic Lentil Soup recipe article, it’s important to go over some commonly asked questions. Whether you are new to cooking or you have years of experience in the kitchen, these FAQs will help ensure that your soup turns out delicious every time. So, read on to find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this popular soup recipe.
What is Lebanese lentil soup made of?
If you’re looking for a hearty and satisfying meal, you may want to try making Lebanese Lentil Soup. This soup is a mix of red lentils, vegetables, curry powder, cumin and lemon juice, making it gluten-free and vegan-friendly. It’s not only easy to prepare, but it’s also a soup that you can freeze and enjoy later.
Do lentils need to be soaked before making soup?
Fortunately, there’s no need to soak lentils before cooking them, unlike beans. However, it is important to sort and rinse them before preparing them. Keep in mind that the cooking time varies for different types of lentils, with red lentils being the quickest to cook. These lentils disintegrate while cooking, leaving you with a velvety texture in your soup.
How to cook lentils for PCOS?
Let’s start by placing a pot on the stove and bringing its contents to a boil. Once the heat is lowered, we will let it simmer for around half an hour or until the lentils are thoroughly cooked. Finally, we’ll add some seasoning in the form of salt, pepper, and hot paprika to taste. Depending on whether we want to serve this dish as a stew or a soup, we may need to add more stock to achieve the desired consistency. Before serving, be sure to remove both the garlic and the bay leaves to prevent any unpleasant surprises for your guests.
What is the difference between dal and lentil soup?
The term “dal” can be interpreted in two ways – referring either to lentils and beans or to a dense purée or soup prepared from lentils. Essentially, lentil dal can be regarded as a variant of lentil soup.
In conclusion, this Arabic Lentil Soup Recipe is a perfect way to bring Middle Eastern flavors to your table. This hearty soup, made with dry lentils and loaded with vegetables and Middle Eastern spices, will warm you up on a chilly day. Not only is it delicious, but it is also nutritious.
By following the recipe precisely, using the right ingredients and cooking techniques, you’ll have a bowl of lentil soup that’s sure to impress your taste buds. The flavors are balanced and nuanced with just the right amount of heat and acidity, making it an excellent dish for vegans and meat-lovers alike.
Moreover, whether you crave a quick meal or slow-cooked soup, we got multiple options for you! You can adjust the recipe according to the time and ingredients you have available without sacrificing the authenticity of its taste.
In addition, I strongly encourage trying out our recommended serving suggestions by pairing it with flatbread or salad as they complement each other well. You can also make-ahead, freeze or reheat this soup for an even easier meal later on.
So don’t hesitate to recreate this classic soup recipe from Arab cuisine that has been enjoyed for generations. It is more than just food, as every spoonful carries a piece of history and culture in each bite. Enjoy!
Arabic Lentil Soup Recipe
- 2 cups dry lentils (yellow or orange lentils)
- 4 -6 cups water
- 2 low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes
- 4 large carrots, diced
- 4 celery ribs, diced
- 1 cup potato, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 -2 bay leaf
- 3 -4 garlic cloves (to taste, or garlic powder)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin (to taste, start with 1 tsp and add more)
- 1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or 2 cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Rinse lentils well.
- Saute onions, carrots, potatoes, & celery in large pot, Cook until veggies are soft and aromatic.
- Add water, chicken (or veg) stock, bay leaf, and lentils to veggies. Add vegetable soup if using. Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tsp cumin & rest of spices, stir in and taste, add more. I find the cumin flavor kind of disappears with long cooking so I usually add half in the beginning and half about 15-30 minutes before serving.
- Let cook on low for as long as you have time. Flavor of soup improves with longer cooking.
- Blend soup in blender or with immersion blender until texture is mostly smooth.
- Serve with freshly ground black pepper, croutons and wedges of lemon to squeeze over the soup (essential!).