Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post Cooking Light Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network

Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Lebanese Lentil Soup with Spinach

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
Share This:

A rich and flavorful Lebanese Lentil Soup made with spinach and served with a dollop of cool yogurt and cilantro is hearty, healthy, and easy dish to pull together for a weeknight meal.

lebanese lentil soup with spinach, served in a white bowl with cilantro on top

Lentil soup might be one of the easiest recipes to make at home.

I’ve always been a huge fan of lentils: there are so many different types, each with a unique flavor; they’re a lean protein with tons of fiber; and they’re so integral to numerous world cuisines. For the longest time when I was growing up, I didn’t realize that the Indian version of this soup (dal) is very similar to a Lebanese Lentil Soup!

There are a few minor differences between this recipe and a traditional dal, but its flavor profile is very similar. The most notable difference is that this recipe uses pre-cooked steamed lentils with no salt or fat added, cutting your cooking time in half!

lebanese lentil soup with spinach, served in a white bowl with cilantro on top

I often like to add more vegetables into my soups because that makes it really easy to get your daily veggies!

This soup has fresh baby spinach wilted slightly by the heat of the soup.

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need for This Recipe

ingredients for lebanese lentil soup with spinach

How to Make Lebanese Lentil Soup – Step by Step

Step 1: Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil to pan, add onion, sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, sauté 1 minute. Add curry powder and cayenne pepper, cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  

onions and spices sauteeing in a pot

Step 2: Add broth, vinegar and lentils. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes.  

lentils and broth added to pot

Step 3: Turn off heat. Take an immersion blender and blend the lentil mixture. Once the soup is blended, bring it back to a low simmer.

immersion blender blending soup in a pot

Step 4: Add in spinach, salt, and pepper to the pot, stir until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes.  

spinach added to pureed soup

Step 5: Stir in 2 Tbsp cilantro.

cilantro added to pureed soup

Step 6: Serve with yogurt and remaining cilantro.

lebanese lentil soup with spinach, served in a white bowl with cilantro on top

What makes this Lebanese Lentil Soup healthy?

  • High in Plant Protein: Lentils are a plant based protein, making this soup a healthy, hearty, filling meal. One serving of this soup has almost 15 grams of protein. 
  • Low in Fat and Calories: Lentils, vegetables, and spices are naturally low in calories and fat. The fat that is in this soup comes from the oil the vegetables are sautéd in. You can further reduce the oil by eliminating the oil and using vegetable stock or water to sauté the vegetables. 
  • High in Fiber: Lentils and spinach are naturally high in fiber. An important addition to your daily diet, fiber helps with digestion, as well as helping with the growth of healthy gut bacteria. It also keeps you feeling fuller longer. 
  • Rich in Vitamins and Nutrients: Spinach, lentils, onions, and garlic are all packed with nutrition. Lentils are particularly high in phytochemicals that help protect the body against numerous chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

Will kids enjoy this lentil soup recipe?

This soup is full of rich flavors, and can be a bit on the spicy side with the addition of cayenne pepper. To make it more kid friendly simply eliminate the cayenne pepper, and sprinkle a light amount on the adult portions. You can adjust the other spices based on your kids’ taste preferences as well.

This is a smooth and flavorful soup loaded with veggies and protein making it a healthy kid friendly meal. 

lebanese lentil soup with spinach, served in a white bowl with cilantro on top

Do lentils need to be soaked?

Lentils don’t need to be soaked prior to cooking, however, they do need to be rinsed and removed of any stones or debris. 

Soaking lentils can reduce overall cooking time. Different types of lentils require different cooking times. Red and yellow lentils need less cooking time than green and brown lentils. 

Is lentil soup good for weight loss?

Lentil soup is low in calories, and fat, while also being high in protein, fiber, and nutrients, making it an excellent soup to enjoy to help with weight loss. 

What do you serve with lentil soup?

I served this soup with some whole grain pita chips to give it some added crunch, texture and heartiness.

Addling a dollop of yogurt adds a great element of creaminess and coolness to the soup, which complemented the spice really well. And a touch of cilantro adds a bright freshness to this soup.

lebanese lentil soup with spinach, served in a white bowl with cilantro on top

Top Tips for Making Lebanese Lentil Soup

  • Use pre-cooked lentils to reduce cooking time. If you don’t have pre-cooked lentils, you can use 1.25 cups of dry brown lentils. If you use dry lentils, be sure to either cook them fully before adding them to the soup, or increase your cooking time to ensure the lentils are soft before immersion blending them!
  • You can add any veggies to this soup that you have on hand. Carrots, celery, other leafy greens would all work well. Serve pureed or chunky.
  • If you have young kids, you can reduce the amount of spices or omit certain spices like the cayenne, to make it more palatable for little ones.
  • Serve this soup with a dollop of plain yogurt, fresh chopped cilantro, and whole wheat pita chips for added crunch!

Check out these other healthy soup recipes!

lebanese lentil soup with spinach, served in a white bowl with cilantro on top

If you have tried this Lebanese Lentil Soup, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

lebanese lentil soup with spinach, served in a white bowl with cilantro on top
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Lebanese Lentil Soup

A rich and flavorful Lebanese Lentil Soup made with spinach and served with a dollop of cool yogurt and cilantro is hearty, healthy, and easy dish to pull together for a weeknight meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 201kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic about 4 cloves
  • 1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1.5 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper optional
  • 3 cups vegetable broth low sodium
  • 1.5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 16 oz package steamed lentils I use the kind from Trader Joe's, or you can use 1.25 cups dry brown lentils
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro use about 1 tsp per serving
  • 1/4 cup plain 2% greek yogurt use about 1 Tbsp per serving

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil to pan, add onion, sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, sauté 1 minute. Add curry powder and cayenne pepper, cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  
  • Add broth, vinegar and lentils. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes.  
  • Turn off heat. Take an immersion blender and blend the lentil mixture. Once the soup is blended, bring it back to a low simmer.
  • Add in spinach, salt, and pepper to the pot, stir until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes.  
  • Stir in 2 Tbsp cilantro. Serve with yogurt and remaining cilantro.

Notes

Top Tips for Making Lebanese Lentil Soup

  • Use pre-cooked lentils to reduce cooking time. If you don’t have pre-cooked lentils, you can use 1.25 cups of dry brown lentils. If you use dry lentils, be sure to either cook them fully before adding them to the soup, or increase your cooking time to ensure the lentils are soft before immersion blending them!
  • You can add any veggies to this soup that you have on hand. Carrots, celery, other leafy greens would all work well. Serve pureed or chunky.
  • If you have young kids, you can reduce the amount of spices or omit certain spices like the cayenne, to make it more palatable for little ones.
  • Serve this soup with a dollop of plain yogurt, fresh chopped cilantro, and whole wheat pita chips for added crunch!
    Inspired by CookingLight

    Nutrition

    Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 14.7g | Fat: 1.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 754.7mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 5.5g

    Posted In…

    Appetizers ·

    Appetizers are the perfect complement to my favorite entrees and dinner party menus. You can also make a small batch for a snack, or turn them into a complete meal.

    50 responses to “Lebanese Lentil Soup with Spinach”

    1. Hello! My son is a picky eater, but loves lentil soup…so I went on a quest to find a good, not-to-spicy recipe online. We have been making your recipe regularly ever since! Thank you! I appreciate how rich and flavorful it is, while still requiring a minimum amount of time to prepare…my favorite combination. 😉

      • Hi Jessica!! Thank you so much for letting me know! I’m so happy to hear this has worked for your family and especially for your son! It’s always so wonderful to hear when typically picky eaters like my recipes 🙂 This is a favorite of mine too – we make it pretty often at home – it’s so easy for a complete, filling, weeknight meal!

    2. I like your posts. They are unique. Recently I had bought some organic lentils from organic garden. I think I am surely going to cook this

    3. I love lentils. this recipe looks simple and easy. I am going to try this. I will go easy on the curry powder, can’t eat too much spices.

      • I’m sure you’ll love this recipe Michele! And yes absolutely, you can adjust the spices based on your taste preferences. Enjoy!

    4. This was delicious! I had never cooked with lentils before, and this was a wonderful hearty soup that lasted me all week.

      • Oh great!! I’m so glad to hear that Katie! I love cooking with lentils – they’re super easy to prepare and so good for you!

    5. Anjali,

      I have been a big fan of your blog for a while now and have tried a bunch of recipes – my husband and I are big fans of healthy eater and I LOVE the flavor profiles in your recipes!!! We tried this soup last night and we were both floored by how delicious it was!! Keep the great recipes coming – I love your food!!

      Maura

      • Awwwww thank you so much Maura!! Your comment made my day 🙂 I’m so glad both you and your husband are enjoying my recipes!! This soup is one of my favorites!

    6. This looks great. I’m traveling though and want to make dinner for hosts. Do you supposed I could sub TJ curry sauce for garum masala? Don’t have spices with me. Thanks!

      • Hi Wenny! So this recipe doesn’t have garam masala in it, so if you don’t have that ingredient it should be fine 🙂 The TJ’s curry powder is pretty essential to this recipe, but you don’t need curry powder from TJ’s – you can get it from any grocery store. I definitely wouldn’t recommend using the TJ’s curry sauce in this recipe because it will change both the consistency and flavor of the soup! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

    7. I just got back from a trip to India. This looks great! I kind of miss curry 🙂 I think my wife will also enjoy this as she loves lentil soup. Thanks for providing the recipe!

    8. Hi! I’m making this delicious looking recipe right now, but noticed in the picture of your ingredients you have cumin instead of cayenne pepper. Should I be using cumin or cayenne pepper?

    9. This recipe looks super yummy – I always have those TJ’s lentils on hand. Question though – I love curry flavor. But I find that when recipes call for a certain amount, I always have to double the amount. Do you think its the type of curry I have? Or just my tastebuds? I have the McCormick brand curry.

      • Hi Maria! That is a great question. It could absolutely be the type of curry powder you have. The one I use is from Trader Joe’s – and it has the perfect blend of spices and heat. Whole Foods has some great options too. My experience has been that some of the more commercial curry powders are much milder to accommodate more taste preferences. So I’d suggest getting a blend from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or your local health food store and try that instead! Let me know how it turns out!

    10. Yum yum yum. Lentil soup is my absolute favorite ever since trying it at a local Middle Eastern restaurant about 7 years ago (I can’t believe I deprived myself from this amazing soup for over 20 years before trying it).

      Can’t wait to try this recipe and add it to my ever-increasing rolodex of lentil soup recipes. Sounds easy and delicious.

      • Hi Linda! You know what’s funny – I think Indian-spiced lentils are my favorite kind too. Probably because the spices just add such a great flavor to the lentils. I can’t wait to hear how you like this recipe and if it passes your lentil soup taste test! 🙂

    11. Are you okay with using canola oil, then? I’ve heard so many times that it’s bad for you, esp. when heated.

      • Hi Magdalen! That is a great question. Canola oil actually has a medium-high smoke point – so it’s great for sautéing (vs. extra virgin olive oil which has a low smoke point and is better as a finishing oil). As long as the canola oil is organic/non GMO, I’m fine with using it. Also – canola oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats, the kind that can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. Canola is the richest cooking-oil source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that has been linked to heart health. If you don’t want to use canola oil, grapeseed oil is a great alternative for cooking (it also has a high smoke point), or you can use non-extra-virgin olive oil (which is better for cooking than extra virgin). Hope that helps!

        • That’s a great substitute! I’m sure it added wonderful flavor to the soup too 🙂 Thanks for sharing Cristina!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






    Subscribe to newsletter

    Copyright 2020 The Picky Eater. All rights reserved.