This is a popular, healthy lentil dish that can be found all over the Middle East. My version is Lebanese, taught to me by my Lebanese mother-in-law. I could eat this every day it's so healthy and delicious! Serve with toasted French bread for dipping.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
30 mins
total:
40 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in large pot over high heat. When oil is very hot, add onions and stir until onions begin to turn dark brown and caramelize, about 10 minutes. Put the lentils, garlic, frozen spinach, and mint into the pot. Pour in enough water so that it is about 2 inches deeper than the lentil mixture. Stir well to loosen browned bits of onion on the bottom of the pot.

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  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. If soup gets too thick, add a little more water. Salt to taste. Lower heat and stir in lemon juice.

Nutrition Facts

243 calories; protein 17g 34% DV; carbohydrates 39.8g 13% DV; fat 2.6g 4% DV; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 46.4mg 2% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (43)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
09/20/2010
This is true to the Lebanese recipe...and yes, you DO have to love lemon to love this, as is! I make this slightly differently. I boil the lentils first and sautee the onions in a separate pan, adding them to the pot once the lentils are near finished. Then, I add the salt, some pepper and the spinach and simmer at medium-low heat until the flavours blend. I personally don't use dried mint in this recipe. My husband would find the original version to be too be "lemony" also, so we only add a small amount to the pot, then add lemon to individual servings, as preferred. Just a thought for an alternate version: you can substitute Swiss Chard for the spinach. My family is split down the middle as to which of these tastes better. Read More
(52)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/31/2009
Quick healthy inexpensive and tasty. A great soup to include in regular rotation. Read More
(15)
51 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 21
  • 4 star values: 17
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 4 stars
09/20/2010
This is true to the Lebanese recipe...and yes, you DO have to love lemon to love this, as is! I make this slightly differently. I boil the lentils first and sautee the onions in a separate pan, adding them to the pot once the lentils are near finished. Then, I add the salt, some pepper and the spinach and simmer at medium-low heat until the flavours blend. I personally don't use dried mint in this recipe. My husband would find the original version to be too be "lemony" also, so we only add a small amount to the pot, then add lemon to individual servings, as preferred. Just a thought for an alternate version: you can substitute Swiss Chard for the spinach. My family is split down the middle as to which of these tastes better. Read More
(52)
Rating: 4 stars
03/16/2009
This soup is delicious. The only changes I made were that I used fresh spinach instead of frozen and I added some beef stock to the soup. I loved the flavor of the lemon juice. I will definitely be making this again. Read More
(40)
Rating: 4 stars
11/17/2010
A fabulous and easy soup ... not to mention that its totally nutritious. Took all of 15 minutes to put together & 35 to low-boil/simmer, covered to save the broth from evaporating. Lentils are amazing little suckers ... peppery, almost smoky, they carry the simplicity of this soup almost on their own. For those that say it was missing taste, try this: Instead of using plain water as a base, start with about 4 cups vegetable broth (or even 3-4 boullion cubes & 4 cups water). Secondly, I had the time to use chopped fresh spinach, and also used fresh lemon juice ... nice touch (certainly wasn't too lemony for a full pot of soup!). Lastly, don't hesitate to season with some Kosher salt (the chunky stuff ... the best for cooking!), and plenty of freshly ground pepper. Bottom line: never use plain water as a soup base ... get some broth, or at least some boullion. You may even try cooking the lentils separately as another reviewer noted, and adjust the broth level as you cook. Read More
(35)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/19/2010
It was delicious as written. For those who find it bland add a generous amount of salt and let it sit for an hour while the flavors blend a bit. After adding the salt and lemon juice I turned off the heat and covered the pan. When it was done I had an amazingly flavorful soup. Read More
(21)
Rating: 4 stars
01/21/2011
i couldn't wait to try this recipe on my husband who happens to be Lebanese. I browned a whole large onion,we love onions, added fresh spinach and fresh lemon. at first the lemon over powered the soup but after adding more water it was perfect ! Read More
(21)
Rating: 4 stars
09/22/2010
Delicious! Read More
(17)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2009
SUCH A DELICIOUS AND EASY RECIPE!!! I added some kielbasa that I had leftover in the 'fridge right at the beginning when I was browning the onions, and it turned out GREAT!!! Read More
(17)
Rating: 3 stars
03/31/2009
Quick healthy inexpensive and tasty. A great soup to include in regular rotation. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
09/15/2010
This was very good and easy to make. Loads of fiber and healthy as well. Read More
(13)
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