You can never go wrong with a bowl of this vegetarian soup in cold weather. Lebanese Lemon Lentil Soup (locally known as ‘Adas Bhamod‘) is so easy to prepare. Be sure you make extra, though; one serving is never enough!
Sometimes referred to as ‘Sour Lentil Soup,’ this deliciously filling dish relies on onions and fresh cilantro for the soup base — then lemon juice to amp it up.
Known locally as ‘adas bhamod,’ there is no need to serve anything with it.
It’s a complete, flavorsome meal on its own.
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- Olive oil – use extra virgin olive oil, if possible.
- Onions – you must chop them finely for this sour lentil soup recipe.
- Potatoes – peeled, rinsed, and diced.
- Coriander – also called cilantro in other parts of the world.
- Salt – just use your favorite brand.
- Lentils – brown or green ones are the best types to use for adas bhamod; they keep their shape and do not get mushy quickly.
- Swiss chard – traditionally used in Lebanese lemon lentil 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 making adas bhamod by placing a large saucepan (or Dutch oven) over medium-high heat.
Pour olive oil into the pan.
Once the oil is ready, add onions and salt.
Cook until onions are slightly soft, then add chopped coriander.
Cook coriander and onion for a few minutes, then add the rinsed lentils.
Mix to combine.
Pour six cups of water into the lentils.
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.
Mix to combine, cover, and continue simmering your adas bhamod 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 your lemon lentil soup into bowls for serving.
- Keep the heat on low (constantly) when simmering. It helps to avoid them turning into mush.
- Since mature spinach is used in this adas bhamod recipe, I 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.
- 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.
- 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 Lebanese lemon lentil soup for your next weeknight dinner and let me know what you think in the comment section! Enjoy!
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Lebanese Lemon Lentil Soup Recipe (Adas Bhamod)
- 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 6 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 your adas bhamod until the potatoes are cooked. (NOTE: 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 your lemon lentil soup with slices of lemon, if desired.
- Cook’s Tip #1: Use brown or green lentils for making adas bhamod; both types do not get mushy quickly.
- Cook’s Tip #2: Check that the heat is in constant low while simmering. It helps in not overcooking the lentils.
- Cook’s Tip #3: Depending on how intense the lemons are where you live, you might need to adjust the lemon juice amount in this sour lentil soup.
- Cook’s Tip #4: Swiss chard is traditionally used for Lebanese sour lentil soup, but mature spinach is an excellent alternative. I suggest getting rid of the stems when you chop them as well.