Shorba – Arab Lentil Soup by Rehana

Hello everyone!

My name is Rehana and I run the blog Rehana Du Jour. I am going to be featuring recipes and ideas on how to get creative in the kitchen here on AltMuslimah for all of you.

Today I have a yummy, light yet satisfying lentil soup recipe for you. I love soup of any kind, and particularly while fasting, I like having a hot bowl of soup (even though it sometimes feels like I am living in a hot bowl of soup) because it fills me up without overeating. Because we enjoy dinners with our friends on the weekends, I like to eat light meals at home to balance out all the blessings.

lentil shorba-33Lentil soup is a staple soup in the Middle East. It is made with the same lentils that us Southeast Asians use for daal but made the way classic soups are made. It is made light and fresh with freshly squeezed lemon juice and fresh parsley.

This soup doesn’t take long to make and requires a few staple ingredients so when you have a hankering for some soothing soup, you know you can make it fairly quick.

Let’s get started.

First, you’ll need to rinse and soak one and a quarter cups of split red lentils in cool water for 15-20 minutes.

lentil shorba-4While the lentils are soaking, cut half a cup each of onion, celery, and carrots – a mirepoix if you want to be a fancy French pseudo-chef – and two cloves of garlic.

lentil shorba-1Next, heat up one teaspoon of oil in a large pot. I prefer using a cast iron pot for a lot of my cooking these days. It retains the heat really well and I got this one from my mom, so that makes it even better!

lentil shorba-3After the oil has heated up, add the onions, celery, and carrots and sautee over medium heat for seven to ten minutes until they have softened and become slightly translucent. We are not trying to brown these guys so thats why we need to keep the temperature fairly low.

lentil shorba-5lentil shorba-6Once they’ve become translucent, add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

lentil shorba-7Add in one bay leaf.lentil shorba-8And the drained lentils.

lentil shorba-9lentil shorba-11Next, add in four cups of chicken stock + two cups of water.

lentil shorba-12Also add in half a teaspoon of freshly ground cumin powder.

lentil shorba-13And a quarter teaspoon of turmeric. This will enhance the beautiful yellow color of the soup.

lentil shorba-14Let this come to a boil and then reduce to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

lentil shorba-15In the meantime, juice one lemon. I’ll take the seeds out before adding it to the soup.

lentil shorba-20Once your soup has fully cooked and the lentils have softened. Take out the bay leaf and get out your handy dandy immersion blender.

lentil shorba-22lentil shorba-18lentil shorba-19If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can always blend this in a real blender by ladling the soup into the blender. Don’t fill up the blender more than 25% full because the hot soup will expand and you don’t want to blow this lid off of it.

Blend your soup until you have the consistency that you want. I don’t like a fully liquid soup, I like to see some of the vegetables that are in there, but I don’t like chunky soup either. So somewhere in between for me is good, but thats the beauty of cooking, you can adjust it to your taste.

lentil shorba-23lentil shorba-24lentil shorba-25Add in two and a half teaspoons of kosher salt (start with less – you can always add more), half a teaspoon of pepper, the juice from one lemon, and taste for seasonings.

lentil shorba-26And that’s it! You have a beautiful, velvety pot of soup.

lentil shorba-27lentil shorba-28lentil shorba-31I hope you guys try this recipe out!

Shorba – Arabic Lentil Soup
Recipe TypeSide Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Author: Rehana
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
A velvety and delicious pot of soup that is very easy to prepare with classic soup ingredients with a slight flair of exotic spices.
  • 1 1/4 cup of split red lentils
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of a neutral flavored oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Rinse and soak the split red lentils for 15-20 minutes, then drain
  2. Heat the oil up in a large pot over medium heat
  3. Cook the onions, celery, and carrots for 7-10 minutes until they have become slightly translucent
  4. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds
  5. Add in the bay leaf, cumin powder, turmeric, drained lentils, chicken stock, and water and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils have softened
  6. Remove the bay leaf
  7. Blend the soup to the consistency that you like
  8. Season with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper



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