You can never go wrong with a bowl of this vegetarian soup in cold weather. Lebanese Sour Lentil Soup (locally known as ‘Adas Bhamod‘) is so easy to prepare. Be sure you make extra, though; one bowl is never enough!
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Sometimes referred to as ‘Lemon Lentil Soup,’ this deliciously filling dish relies on onions and fresh cilantro for the soup base — then lemon juice to amp it up.
There is no need to serve anything with this soup, in my opinion. It’s a complete, flavorsome meal on its own.
- Lentils – brown or green ones are the best types to use for this soup. They keep their shape and do not get mushy quickly.
- Swiss chard – traditionally used in this Lebanese soup. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find it in Stockholm, so I used the best substitute for it, spinach.
Please make sure that it’s the mature ones, though, not the baby spinach that is often used for salad.
Start by placing a large saucepan (or Dutch oven) over medium-high heat.
Pour olive oil into the pan (photo 1).
Once the oil is ready, add onions and salt (photo 2).
Cook until onions are slightly soft, then add chopped coriander (photo 3).
Cook coriander and onion for a few minutes, then add the rinsed lentils (photo 4).
Mix to combine.
Pour six cups of water into the lentils (photo 5).
Cover pan with a lid, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for twenty minutes.
Add spinach, potatoes, lemon juice, and more salt (photo 6).
Mix to combine, cover, and continue simmering until the potatoes are cooked. This normally takes twenty-five to thirty minutes for me.
Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Take the pan off the heat, then transfer it into bowls for serving.
- Keep the heat on low (constantly) when simmering. It helps to avoid them turning into mush.
- You might need to adjust the amount of lemon juice that you use — depending on how strong the lemons are where you live. For your reference, the lemons that we get in Stockholm are too sharp compared to Spain or Italy.
- Since mature spinach is used in this recipe, I would suggest leaving out those long stems when you chop them.
- Keep in mind that you are still going to cook the potatoes, so do not make the lentils too soft.
- CAN YOU PUT LENTILS STRAIGHT INTO SOUP?
There is no need to soak them, unlike beans. Just rinse, drain properly, then add them directly into your soup.
- WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU OVERCOOK LENTILS?
Overcooked lentils result in the lentils splitting their skins, hence resulting in mush.
Besides making sure you don’t cook them for too long, make sure that you keep the heat on constant low when simmering; to avoid mushy lentils.
So, try it for your next weeknight dinner and let me know what you think in the comment section! Enjoy!
Lebanese Lemon Lentil Soup
- 4 to 5 tbsp olive oil
- 3 medium onions, chopped finely
- 1 & 1/2 cups coriander, chopped roughly
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups spinach, rinsed and chopped
- 1 large potato, diced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- salt, to season
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven (or a large saucepan) over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is ready, add the chopped onions and some salt.
- Cook until the onions turn a bit soft, then add the coriander.
- Stir and cook for a few minutes, then add the lentils.
- Keep stirring, then pour six cups of water into the saucepan.
- Cover with a lid, then bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients: spinach, potatoes, lemon juice, and more salt (to season).
- Mix, then cover with a lid and continue simmering until the potatoes are cooked. This generally takes 25 to 30 minutes for me.
- Adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Take the soup off the heat and transfer it into bowls.
- Serve with slices of lemon, if desired.
- Use brown or green lentils; both types do not get mushy quickly.
- Check that the heat is in constant low while simmering. It helps in not overcooking the lentils.
- Depending on how intense the lemons are where you live, you might need to adjust the lemon juice amount in this lentil soup.
- Swiss chard is traditionally used for this soup, but mature spinach is an excellent alternative.I suggest getting rid of the stems when you chop them as well.