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No matter how gloomy the day is or how cold the weather is, a hearty bowl of soup will always warm your heart and lift your mood. Today’s recipe is a beloved traditional Lebanese soup. Mediterranean lentil Soup is a staple in Lebanese cuisine.
Simple enough to be prepared in every household and so very good that it’s craved by everyone. The combo of flavors of the earthy lentils, the hint of beef, the sauteed onions, the richness of 7 spices and cumin, along with the freshness of the parsley is just heavenly. Trust me, one bowl won’t be enough!
Brown Lentil Soup for the Soul
Although soup is mostly associated with winter, I wouldn’t mind having it any time of the year. Really! It’s warm, filling, utterly delicious, and immensely nutritious. Better yet, it’s super easy to cook! What more could you ask for?
With its rich velvety texture, this brown lentil soup with ground beef is the epitome of comfort food. Just one sip of this amazing soup will bring back memories of warm family dinners and bustling iftars (fast-breaking during the month of fasting).
Happiness in a Bowl!
Why Go for Brown Lentil Soup?
If you’ve never had this great soup before, you might think I’m exaggerating, but once you give it a try, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s something so magical about this brown lentil soup.
It’s almost like a mother’s touch: comforting, nourishing, and warm. Although the soup is very simple in theory, the addition of sauteed onions and ground beef gives it a twist that takes the taste to a whole new level. Beside its ridiculously good taste, this soup is:
Made with simple and economical ingredients: Chances are you already have all the ingredients in your pantry.
Super easy recipe: This soup will be ready in no time and I promise you, your kitchen won’t be a mess when you’re done!
Unbelievably healthy: Lentils have got everything from fibers, proteins, iron, and minerals, not to mention that they’re high in antioxidants and exhibit some anti-inflammatory qualities.
Filling and Satisfying: The starch in the lentils take longer time to digest, which means this will keep you from feeling hunger for a while.
Smooth and velvety
Comfort food at its finest
Great as a party soup, a starter course of an iftar dinner, or something to warm you up after a long winter day.
A Comforting, Nourishing, and Filling Soup
A Mouthwatering, Heartwarming, and Health-boosting Soup
This Mediterranean Lentil soup is a great option to incorporate into your diet if you’re trying to eat clean. For starters, lentils are low in calories but rich in fibers, protein, and minerals. Basically, the health benefits of these legumes are almost too many to count. First, they are an excellent source of vegan protein which explains why many vegans choose lentils as their favorite meat substitute.
Secondly, the high fiber content promotes healthy bowel movements and helps to maintain healthy gut flora. Lentils are also loaded with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and potassium not to mention their high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities.
In short, lentils are a powerhouse food! No wonder brown lentil soup is a star dish in many iftar dinners in Ramadan. With all those health benefits, who wants to skip on such heart-warming and health-boosting soup?
Pita Bread Croutons and Brown Lentil Soup for the Win!
How to Serve This Brown Lentil Soup?
With a dash of fresh lemon juice
This simple addition would do wonders to the overall flavor. Moreover, the acidity of the lemon actually helps your body to absorb the iron in the lentils. But don’t add the lemon juice directly to the pot, as it might leave a bitter taste upon reheating.
With pita bread croutons
There’s something irresistible about dipping crunchy bread in hot soup! To prepare the crouton, simply cut the pita bread into square-shaped pieces and toss them on an oven tray covered with a baking sheet. Roast them until crunchy.
If you want to try something special, season the pita bread pieces with some salt, sumac, and a drizzle of olive oil before baking them. The crunchiness and tanginess of the pita bread against the smooth puree of the soup is divine happiness, I tell ya!
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley
Trust me, the freshness of the parsley will accentuate the earthy taste of lentils and make the dish visually pleasing!
Tips and Tricks for Mediterranean Lentil Soup
Use an immersion blender to puree the lentils. If you like to keep the feel of the lentils, you can puree only a part of the mixture to ensure the creamy texture and keep the other lentils whole.
Do NOT be skimpy with the cumin! Trust me, lentils and cumin were made for each other! Not only does cumin add a wonderful flavor, but it might lower the chances of lentils causing bloating.
Make sure to cook the lentils long enough until very soft and tender. No one wants uncooked lentils that might cause bloating!
If the soup is too thick, add some water or some chicken/ beef stock to liquify it.
If you’re vegan, you’ve got you covered. Simply drop the meat all together and use vegetable bouillon to enjoy a healthy vegan-approved soup!
Comfort Food at Its Finest!
Frequently Asked Questions
The recipe is called brown lentil soup, but green or even red lentils would do the trick!
Rice is used to thicken the soup. You can use short grain rice, jasmine rice, or aborror rice. If you happen to not have any rice on that day, you can use a small- sized potato instead. The starch from the potato would thicken the mixture, and you wouldn’t tell it was there in the first place after you puree the mixture.
Absolutely. You can use chicken or beef stock instead of water. If you don’t want to use stock at all, you can alternatively add a tablespoon of butter for a richer flavor.
Here’s the great thing about lentils. You don’t need to soak them ahead of time. It’s enough to rinse them and drain them in a strainer directly before dunking them into water.
Ideally, the soup should be of a velvety creamy consistency. If it turns out more on the watery side, fear not. You haven’t ruined it, yet! Let the soup cook and boil for a longer time for the excess water to evaporate until you reach the desired consistency.
This soup can stay up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Ingredients for Mediterranean Lentil Soup
- Chopped onions
- Ground meat
- Seven spices
- Olive oil
- Brown or green lentils
- Short grain rice
- Chopped Parsley
- Cumin or (crushed kamoon)
- Bouillon cubes (optional)
Steps for Making Lentil Soup
First, in a medium pot bring water to boil then add the lentils and rice. Lower to medium heat, allow to boil for about half an hour or until fully cooked.
Next, add olive oil to a hot skillet, sauté the cubed onions until translucent, then add in the ground meat, sear for 4 minutes or until cooked. Add in ½ tablespoon 7 spices or allspice, salt, and mix.
Then, blend the soup until creamy using an immersion blender. Add in the cooked meat and onions.
Finally, spice the soup with cumin or crushed kamoon, 7 spices, salt to taste, and chopped parsley.
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Mediterranean Lentil Soup
- In a medium pot bring water to a boil then add the lentils and rice. Lower to medium heat, allow to boil for about half an hour or until fully cooked.
- Add olive oil to a hot skillet, sauté the cubed onions until translucent, then add in the ground meat. Sear for 4 minutes or until cooked. Add in ½ tablespoon of 7 spices or allspice, salt, and mix.
- Blend the soup until creamy using an immersion blender. Add in the cooked meat and onions.
- Spice the soup with cumin or crushed kamoon, 7 spices, salt to taste, and chopped parsley.