This nutritious and comforting vegan Red Lentil soup recipe is made with simple pantry ingredients but delivers a punch of flavor.
The lentils provide protein and fibre in a delicious and light meat free meal.
My first taste of Arabic lentil soup or Shorbat Adas, was on a business trip to Oman a few years ago. After a long day I was tired and hungry, but not inclined to go down to the hotel restaurant for dinner. I ended up ordering the simple red lentil soup and kibbeh from the room service menu.
I subsequently tried making lentil soup using green lentils, but it looked more like dishwater and did not taste any better.
I found this recipe for Arabic lentil soup that looked very easy, on the Chef in Disguise website (along with many easy and authentic Middle Eastern recipes). This easy lentil soup recipe is nutritious and has a creamy, rich flavor that is elevated with a sprinkling of parsley and grating of lemon zest, if you have it available.
Another adaptation includes 1/2 cup of chopped celery and 1/2 cup of chopped carrots added when sautéing the onions. A third included only carrots. For now I prefer the third version with the carrots and without the celery as I find the celery too overpowering a flavor. It may be that fasting makes my taste buds ultra sensitive because even the chili seems spicier than before.
You may find that even the soup avoiders in your family will love this. I am not a fan of lentil recipes but this is by far one of the best lentil recipes I have come across.
When we made it in Cape Town during Winter my family could not believe how easy it is to make and how quickly it was ready. The longest part of the recipe is the soaking time of the lentils!
Red lentil soup makes a perfect first course in Ramadhan and can be served with the following at iftar:
- Daltjies Spinach and Corn fritters
- Sweet corn and Polenta fritters
- Cape Malay pancakes with coconut
- Cardamom bollas with saffron syrup
A word of caution for readers suffering from compromised immune systems. Lentils, chickpeas, beans and other legumes may cause an inflammatory response so be careful with consumption if you have a compromised immune system.
Vegan Red Lentil soup
- 250 ml dried and split red lentils (approximately 1 cup)
- 60 ml olive oil (divided, approximately ¼ cup)
- 1 red onion (finely chopped)
- 1 carrot (grated)
- 15 ml flour (approximately 1 tablespoon)
- 500 ml vegetable stock (approximately 2 cups)
- 500 ml water (approximately 2 cups)
- 1 clove garlic (sliced)
- 1.25 ml chili flakes (approximately ¼ teaspoon)
- 2.5 ml Salt (adjust to taste)
- Black pepper
- 30 ml Parsley (chopped)
- 1/2 Lemon (juice and rind, to taste)
- Rinse the lentils twice then soak for at least 2 hours.
- Heat 30 ml of olive oil in a soup pot and sauté the onions until soft.
- Add the flour and cook for 1 minute before adding the drained lentils, garlic and chili flakes.
- Add the stock or water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
- Blend the soup until creamy and completely smooth. I used a stick blender.
- Add the remaining 30 ml oil and blend until incorporated.
- Adjust the thickness with more hot stock or water, if required.
- Check the seasoning and add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and lemon zest and a wedge lemon.
Nutritional information for the recipe is approximate only and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given.
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