This healthy and vegetarian Middle Eastern lentil soup is enjoyed in households and restaurants across the Levant and the Middle East, and comes in endless varieties. Today’s red lentils recipe is both simple in preparation and ingredients, but it is also a very flavourful soup.
Before meeting my husband I used to add veggies, cumin and sometimes turmeric to the mix, but for a pristine and velvety soup you must try this one! My husband’s Italian cooking style brings simplicity and great attention to the ingredients used in these Illustrated Middle Eastern Recipes. He taught me that with just a few ingredients you can create a truly tasty culinary experience, and this recipe is one good example.
Dishes that Pair Perfectly with Middle Eastern Lentil Soup
Usually served as an entree during the Holy Month of Ramadan, or in chilly winter months, this soup can still be served in summer with delicious homemade Kibbeh (minced meat and bulgur shells stuffed with a filling of gently fried meat, onions and pine nuts), and a side dish of Mutabbal.
Try serving this Middle Eastern lentil soup with fresh, baked, or fried pita bread squares on the side and a squeeze of lemon to add a zesty tang. Side note: Funny enough, Middle Eastern households usually cut these pita bread chips into squares, not triangles, and dip them into the bowl right before eating the soup.
Other dishes that go well with lentil soup are usually meat-based. These include tasty treats like meat Turkish Borek (known as Burak in Lebanon and the Levant), Lahmacun or Sfeeha (Turkish and Lebanese meat flatbreads), and other Middle Eastern filo pastry dishes, like Lahm bi Ajeen, a close cousin of Sfeeha.
Shorabet Adas: The Recipe
Enjoy this easy and filling red lentil soup as a side dish with meat-based pastry dishes, and a squeeze of lemon. Vegetarians and vegans can also enjoy this dish with fresh, baked, or fried pita bread squares or triangles.
- 1 Medium onion, finely chopped
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 1½ cups red lentils
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp short grain rice
- Pinch of salt to taste
- Heat olive oil in a pan and gently fry the chopped onions for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the lentils, add the water and cook for 30 minutes. Stir the soup regularly, to make sure the lentils are evenly cooked and to avoid seeing them sink to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the lentils are well-cooked, add the rice and wait for a few more minutes until the rice is cooked.
- To create a velvety texture, stir the soup with a silicon whisk, and serve with pita bread and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
I treat my blog and portfolio as an ongoing project. This is where I get the chance to revisit some of the illustrations I’m not quite happy with. So, on 24 September 2018, I created a new food illustration for this lentil soup recipe, which I think reflects how much I have evolved the past few months. The original illustrations seen above were posted on 24 July 2017. I’ve always thought of them as “draft ideas.” What I wanted them to have in terms of concept was there, but I wasn’t quite happy with the final pieces. That’s why I re-did the artwork and I must say, I’m much happier with the new one!
Illustrated Recipe + Food illustration by illustrator and artist Yaansoon