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Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 quarts low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice about 3 lemons; you may substitute with bottled lemon juice
  • Parsley for garnishing


  • Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until starting to take on a light golden color.
  • Add cumin, cayenne, and tomato paste. Stir until tomato paste is evenly distributed.
  • Add chicken stock and water. Bring to a simmer. Add lentils and bulgur wheat. Partially cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Take soup off the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth with just a few chunks of onion. (Note, for those that do not have an immersion blender- you may skip this step for a chunkier soup OR may use a regular blender)
  • Add lemon juice and season generously with salt to taste.
  • Garnish with a little extra cayenne and parsley before serving.