Middle Eastern Creamy Red Lentil Soup Recipe: Easy, Healthy & Comforting Middle Eastern Recipes Soups Vegetarian Dinner Lunch

This easy Middle Eastern red lentil soup recipe does not have many ingredients. All you need are two fats (butter and olive oil), two garnishes (lemon wedges and pita bread croutons) and six simple ingredients for the soup itself: onion, garlic, turmeric, salt, red lentils and vegetables broth. The creaminess comes from the pureeing process at the end, so if you omit the butter, this becomes a vegetarian and vegan soup as well!

The health benefits of lentils are vast. Lentils are high in protein, potassium, fiber, calcium, iron and folate. Lentils are a wonderful addition to your healthy eating plan. 

Unlike dry beans, you don't have to soak lentils before cooking them. Most lentils take about 20 minutes to cook, but red lentils cook in about 5 minutes. Great for busy weeknight dinners. Serve this creamy lentil soup with whole-wheat pita bread croutons and lemon wedges. Pack the soup in an insulated thermos for lunch the next day.

Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 38 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 - 5 large cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (can also use water)
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) red lentils (masoor dal)
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  • whole wheat pita bread, for serving

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Melt butter and olive oil together in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened and beginning to color, up to 7 minutes. 
  2. Add the garlic, turmeric and salt. Stir for 30 to 60 seconds until the garlic becomes fragrant. 
  3. Add the lentils and toss to coat. 
  4. Add the vegetable broth and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, until lentils are fully cooked, stirring occasionally. Let cool, then blend to a smooth puree.
  5. Separately, preheat your broiler on low. Split and open the pita bread and toast them under the broiler (watch carefully!), turning once, until they are crisp and lightly browned. You can brush olive oil and toss kosher salt on them before the toasting if desired. Once toasted, break the pita into small pieces to make the croutons. Serve the soup with lemon wedges and croutons on the side.

Originally published on JocelynSageMitchell.net.

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Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

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Red Lentils $3 & Up
Ground Turmeric $3 & Up
Vegetable Broth $2 & Up

Comments (3)

Elisa Schmitz
This sounds absolutely divine. I love a nourishing and soothing soup and can't wait to try this!
Simple and satisfying soup recipe.
Lentils, turmeric, lemon - a recipe for deliciousness!
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