Do you have a favorite soup that reminds you of your childhood? Lentil soup is by far my favorite. Its so hearty and comes with so many memories. When I was younger, my mom would always make lentil soup on rainy days. Its such a comforting and filling soup.
Every Middle Eastern household has a different variation for this soup. Some of the recipes I've tried don't use vegetables. It's just lentils, onions, and broth. I love to incorporate vegetables into the soup, especially for picky eaters. I add potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots to the soup to give it a boost of nutrients. Potatoes have a relatively mild flavor, adding them in doesn't change the flavor of the soup, but it makes the consistency much thicker.
Lentil soup is also a big part of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. In most Palestinian homes, lentil soup is on the menu for iftar, the meal served at sunset, almost every night. After not eating all day, enjoying a big bowl of lentil soup is perfect. It's filled with nutrients and helps your body recover from a long day of fasting. Lentils are filled with protein and are a great source of iron. The complex carbohydrates found in lentils help you control your appetite, which is very beneficial when fasting all day.
This recipe comes together quickly! I always serve this soup with fried pita chips on the side.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
1 cup split red lentils
4 cups broth (vegetable, chicken or beef)
1/2 medium white onion, diced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 medium tomato, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small potato, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt, or to taste
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
1) In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion, tomato, carrot, cilantro, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are soft, about 2 minutes.
2) Stir in lentils and potato. Add broth, salt, and cumin. Bring to a boil.
3) Lower heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Let cool.
4) Pour soup into blender and blend on high speed for minute.
5) Return soup to pot and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
6) When ready to serve, add lemon juice.
Note: Lentil soup tends to thicken overtime. If you're not serving right away, you will need to add additional broth to the soup when reheating.