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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

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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.

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