Deliciously Hearty Lentil Soup Recipe for Winter Nights

Welcome to my Armenian Lentil Soup Recipe – a delicious and healthy soup recipe that will warm you up from the inside out! As an Israeli chef who has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, I have some incredible recipes in my repertoire, and this lentil soup recipe is definitely one of my favorites.

Lentils are a staple of Armenian cuisine, and this soup is no exception. Infused with warming spices like cumin, dill weed, and ginger, this hearty soup has a complex flavor profile that will leave your taste buds singing. And with ingredients like diced tomatoes, frozen chopped spinach, and dried apricots, this soup has all the makings of a nutritious meal.

Not only is this Armenian Lentil Soup Recipe delicious, but it is also incredibly easy to make. With just a handful of pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients, you can whip up a pot of this lentil soup in no time. Plus, it makes for great leftovers – perfect for a quick lunch during the week or for keeping in the freezer for those busy nights when you don’t have time to cook.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Armenian Lentil Soup
Armenian Lentil Soup

Are you looking for a comforting and healthy soup recipe that’s deliciously satisfying? Look no further than this Armenian Lentil Soup Recipe. Not only is it easy to make, it’s also packed with flavor and nutritious ingredients.

One of the key ingredients in this recipe is lentils, which are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. Lentils also have a low glycemic index, making them a great choice for anyone looking to stabilize their blood sugar levels.

But what sets this soup apart from others is the unique combination of spices and flavors. Ground cumin adds a smoky depth, while dill weed adds a fresh herbaceousness. And the addition of dried apricots gives the soup a subtle sweetness that balances out the earthiness of the lentils.

This recipe also calls for frozen chopped spinach and diced tomatoes, which not only add extra nutrients but also give the soup a beautiful color contrast. And with just a touch of lemon juice at the end, this soup is brightened up and brought to life.

Whether you’re looking for a healthy vegetarian meal option or simply want to add more variety to your soup rotation, this Armenian Lentil Soup Recipe is sure to become a new favorite. So go ahead and give it a try – your taste buds (and body) will thank you!

Ingredient List

 The ultimate comfort food for a cold day.
The ultimate comfort food for a cold day.

To make this Armenian lentil soup recipe you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of red lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

For an added kick of flavor and nutrition, you can also add the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • ¾ cup of dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock or chicken-flavored vegetarian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • A handful or two of frozen chopped spinach.

These ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store and offer a fantastic combination of nutrients and flavors that will make this soup a hit.

The Recipe How-To

 The simple, yet delicious, lentil soup that will warm your heart.
The simple, yet delicious, lentil soup that will warm your heart.

Now that we have all the ingredients ready, let’s start preparing our mouth-watering Armenian Lentil Soup. Follow these easy steps to whip up a batch of delicious soup in no time!

Step 1: Rinse and prep the lentils

In a colander, rinse 2 cups of lentils under cold water and set them aside.

Step 2: Sauté onion and garlic

In a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Sauté 1 medium chopped onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic until they are translucent.

Step 3: Add the spices

Mix in 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon dill weed into the onion mixture. Cook for another minute until fragrant.

Step 4: Add the lentils

Add the rinsed lentils to the pot and stir until they are coated with spices. Pour in 8 cups of vegetable stock (or water), along with 1 cup of diced tomatoes, ⅓ cup of dried apricots roughly chopped, and 2 tablespoons of chicken-flavored vegetarian seasoning. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.

### Step 5: Add spinach, lemon juice and brown rice

Then add ¾ cup of frozen chopped spinach, ½ cup brown rice, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Stir to combine everything well.

Step 6: Simmer again

Cover the pot again and simmer for another 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender.

There you have it! Your delicious Armenian Lentil Soup is now ready! You can serve this soup hot with crusty bread or fluffy white rice on the side.

Enjoy your meal!

Substitutions and Variations

 A vegan-friendly soup that will keep you satisfied and full.
A vegan-friendly soup that will keep you satisfied and full.

One of the best things about cooking is the freedom to modify recipes based on personal taste and ingredient availability. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try for the Armenian Lentil Soup recipe:

– Lentil Variations: You can use different varieties of lentils such as yellow or green lentils instead of red lentils. Keep in mind that different types of lentils have different cooking times, so adjust accordingly.

– Dried Apricots: If you can’t find dried apricots, you can replace them with other dried fruits such as raisins or prunes. Just make sure to chop them into small pieces before adding them to the soup.

– Vegetarian Seasoning: The recipe calls for chicken-flavored vegetarian seasoning, which can be found in most grocery stores. However, if you prefer not to use it, you can substitute it with vegetable broth or bouillon cubes.

– Ginger: If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can replace it with ginger powder. Use 1/4 teaspoon for each tablespoon of fresh ginger called for in the recipe.

– Spinach and Tomatoes: If you don’t have frozen chopped spinach or diced tomatoes on hand, feel free to use fresh ones instead. Just add them towards the end of the cooking time so that they don’t turn mushy.

– Rice: The recipe suggests serving the soup with brown rice, but you can use any type of rice that you like. White rice or basmati rice will work just as well.

You can also experiment with different spices and herbs to customize the flavor of the soup. For example, try adding a pinch of cinnamon or coriander powder for an extra depth of flavor. The Armenian Lentil Soup is a versatile dish that lends itself to creativity and personalization. Don’t be afraid to mix things up and discover new combinations!

Serving and Pairing

 A taste of Armenia in every spoonful.
A taste of Armenia in every spoonful.

This Armenian Lentil Soup is a great standalone meal accompanied by a slice of brown bread, but you can also play around with the toppings and serve it with your favorite side dish. The soup is packed with nutrients and flavors that makes it a versatile dish to pair with.

You can consider pairing this soup with a salad on the side, particularly a green leafy one like spinach or arugula, dressed in lemon juice and olive oil. You can also prepare some baked chicken or tofu to go along with the soup if you want to have a protein boost.

For those who love grains, this soup pairs particularly well with a cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa on the side. The rice will further enhance the nutty flavor of lentils in the soup.

If you want to explore further into the Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, you can serve this soup with dolma – stuffed grape leaves – and hummus. They complement each other very well, and they’ll turn your meal into an exotic feast that’s perfect for sharing with friends and family.

As for a beverage to pair with the soup, a glass of red or white wine will do great justice to the aromatic spices in this dish. Alternatively, you can opt for fresh juice from oranges or pomegranates that adds refreshing sweetness to your meal.

Serving suggestions are endless, feel free to explore different combinations until you find what suits your personality, mood, and taste buds best.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This lentil soup will turn any bad day into a good one.
This lentil soup will turn any bad day into a good one.

This Armenian lentil soup recipe makes for a great make-ahead meal or meal prep option. The soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, and can also be frozen for later use.

When reheating, transfer the soup into a large pot and reheat over low heat. If the soup is too thick upon reheating, feel free to add some water or vegetable stock until you reach your desired consistency.

One thing to keep in mind when reheating this soup is that the lentils tend to absorb a lot of liquid, so it’s important to monitor the soup’s consistency and adjust accordingly during reheating.

Additionally, if you’re planning on making this soup ahead of time or storing leftovers, consider adding the fresh spinach right before serving to ensure that it stays vibrant and doesn’t get too wilted from being stored.

Overall, this Armenian lentil soup recipe is fantastic for make-ahead lunches or quick weeknight dinners. Simply store it properly and reheat thoroughly for a warm and inviting meal any day of the week!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Don't let the simplicity of this soup deceive you – it's packed with flavor.
Don’t let the simplicity of this soup deceive you – it’s packed with flavor.

Making the Armenian Lentil Soup might seem like a simple task, but there are a few things to consider if you want to achieve the perfect consistency and flavor. Here are some tips to follow for perfect results:

1. Rinse and sort the lentils: Before cooking the lentils, make sure to rinse them under cold water to remove any dirt, debris or stones. Additionally, sorting the lentils ensures that there are no small rocks or impurities left in the soup.

2. Use high-quality ingredients: The key to making flavorful soup is using fresh and high-quality ingredients. This includes using extra virgin olive oil, fresh vegetables, and good quality spices like ground cumin and dill weed.

3. Add lemon juice: Adding lemon juice at the end of cooking enhances the flavor of lentil soup while also providing a brightness or tanginess that balances out the earthiness of lentils.

4. Cook lentils separately: Some recipes suggest cooking lentils in a pressure cooker; however, for optimal texture and flavor of the Armenian Lentil Soup, cook them separately over low-medium heat.

5. Adjust seasoning carefully: Always taste and adjust seasoning as needed before serving. Add more salt, pepper, or spices if necessary to enhance the flavors.

6. Don’t overcook vegetables: Overcooking vegetables like onions or spinach can result in a mushy texture that diminishes their flavor and nutritional value. As such, avoid overcooking these veggies by adding them towards the end of cooking time.

By following these tips, you can create a delicious Armenian Lentil Soup with an earthy yet tangy flavor that’s satisfying and nutritious all at once!

FAQ

Now that you have learned how to make Armenian Lentil Soup, let me address some common questions and concerns that might arise during the cooking and preparation process. In this section, I’ll cover a variety of frequently asked questions about the recipe so you can maximize your cooking experience and perfect your homemade soup. So, let’s dive in!

Do lentils need to be soaked before making soup?

Here’s a pro tip for you – unlike beans, lentils don’t require soaking! However, it’s important to sort and rinse them before cooking. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary based on the type of lentil you are using. If you’re looking to whip up a creamy soup quickly, red lentils are your go-to as they cook the fastest and dissolve as they cook.

What country eats lentil soup?

Enjoying a warm serving of Italian Lentil Soup at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve is a beloved tradition in Italy that must not be overlooked.

What is the difference between Dal and lentil soup?

The term “dal” has a dual definition in the culinary world. It can refer to both beans and lentils as well as a dense puree or soup prepared from lentils. Essentially, lentil dal is a type of lentil soup.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wktuu2MP08

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Armenian Lentil Soup recipe is a delicious and nutritious choice for any meal. With its flavorful blend of lentils, spices, and dried apricots, it’s sure to satisfy your taste buds while also providing important nutrients like fiber and protein. Plus, this soup is versatile enough to accommodate substitutions and variations to meet your unique preferences or dietary needs.

So why not give this recipe a try? Whether you’re new to Armenian cuisine or looking for a healthy and satisfying vegetarian meal, this lentil soup is sure to impress. And with these tips and recommendations, you’re guaranteed to achieve perfect results every time. So go ahead, gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get cooking!

Armenian Lentil Soup

Armenian Lentil Soup Recipe

From Neva & Jim Brackett's 7 Secrets Cookbook. Makes a very healthy meal that's delicious! Spinach and tomatoes are added after the cooking is completed to keep their distinct green and red color, and give the soup eye appeal. I usually freeze half of this recipe to feed my family of four again later.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Soup
Cuisine Armenian
Servings 12 cups
Calories 77.4 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups lentils
  • 10 cups water
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Braggs liquid aminos (can use soy sauce instead, but Braggs is healthier)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt (this is the amount the cookbook suggests, but I usually use about a 1/2 Tbsp salt so you might want )
  • 1 tablespoon chicken-flavored vegetarian seasoning (I use McKay's Chicken Seasoning which is like chicken bouillon but it's vegetarian and healthier)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes
  • ginger (optional, this is an option my family adds because we like a little ginger flavor)

Instructions
 

  • Place all ingredients in kettle except spinach and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour or until lentils are tender.
  • Add spinach and simmer 1 minute. Add tomatoes just before serving.
  • Leftovers can easily be frozen for another meal. I usually just freeze the soup in a ziplock freezer bag. Take it out the day before and put it in the fridge to thaw. Then reheat over the stove in a pot.

Add Your Own Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 296gCalories: 77.4kcalCarbohydrates: 15.1gProtein: 4gFat: 0.6gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 601.5mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 2.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans, Easy, European, Free Of..., Lactose-free, Lentils, Vegan, Vegetable, Weeknight, Winter
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