Shorbat Adas (Red Lentil Soup)

Shorbat Adas

This month I found myself finally getting a long-delayed dental procedure – which meant for two weeks my diet could consist only of soft foods. After glancing at the list and realising that many of the listed ‘recommended’ foods were things I didn’t like eating (seriously, I don’t like mashed potato), my first thought was lentil soup.

The beauty of this recipe is that I nearly always have all of the ingredients to make it, it’s easy and inexpensive, and everyone (even my picky daughter) loves it. The minimal spices used in it are warming and anti-inflammatory, perfect for when you’re not feeling well. I recommend pairing this soup with a loaf of Lebanese talami bread.

Shorbat Adas
This simple, vegan soup is filling, healthy, and inexpensive.

While the recipe calls for preserved lemon, you can use the juice of a whole lemon instead – I always serve with lemon slices as I like to add extra to mine.

Shorbat Adas (Red Lentil Soup)

This easy, vegan soup is filling and inexpensive – perfect comfort food that's actually healthy.
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: lentil, lentil soup, lentils, red lentils, shorbat adas, soup
Servings: 10 servings
Author: The Elegant Economist


  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils (300g)
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice any long grain rice works here (100g)
  • 2 medium carrots chopped into rounds (optional)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cups vegetable broth or chicken, if you prefer meat
  • 1 Tbsp preserved lemon, finely chopped or the juice of one lemon
  • chopped green onion, parsley, or coriander (optional) for garnish


  • In a large stockpot, saute the onion in olive oil over medium-low heat, until softened – about eight minutes.
  • Stir in lentils, rice, carrots (if using), cumin, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
  • Add your broth, and then bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for 45-50 minutes (rice should be soft and lentils fully cooked). Turn off the heat and add your preserved lemon.
  • Using an immersion blender, or a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix) pulse a few times to achieve your desired consistency (I like mine with a bit of texture still rather than pureed).
  • Garnish with green onion and herbs if desired, and serve.



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