This Lebanese lentil soup with lemon and kale is naturally vegan and blends nutritious ingredients with a mix of spices to create a mouthwatering bowl of goodness. It's a Middle Eastern-inspired comfort food that tastes great warm or cold, which makes it great for all seasons.
If you like soups where you can feel a burst of flavours with every spoonful, then this Lebanese lentil soup with lemon and kale should be right up your alley.
I love mixes of spices that feel like a symphony in my mouth without being fiery, and Middle Eastern flavours are just that — perfect seasoning with just the right amount of hotness.
This vegan Middle Eastern lemon lentil soup recipe is super easy to make, nutritious, and super filling. You can enjoy a bowl on its own or with some crusty bread, and what's even better, the soup tastes great both hot and cold. It's the reason I keep making it no matter the season.
Why you'll love this Lebanese lentil soup with lemon
- It's a super healthy soup. It has lots of fibres from the lentils, it's high in proteins and very low on calories at the same time.
- You can have a big pot ready in under an hour. This Lebanese soup is super easy to make, as all you have to do is chop the veggies, fry them for a couple of minutes in a bit of olive oil, add the spices and lentils, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add your greens and lemon juice, and you're done.
- The spices are highly customizable. I use a mix of cumin, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, and cinnamon to bring flavour to this soup. You can use other Middle Eastern spices if you want, such as cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, sweet or hot paprika, turmeric, or fennel. The possibilities are truly endless.
What goes into this vegan soup?
- Lentils — green lentils work best in this soup because they cook in less than 30 minutes without pre-soaking and have a great texture.
- Vegetables — you'll need a mix of onion, carrots, celery stalks, and parsnips.
- Spices — I use a blend of ground cumin, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, and ground cinnamon, plus some red chilli flakes for a bit of a kick.
- Vegetable stock — make sure the stock you're using is vegan. You can add more or less than recommended in the recipe card below, depending on how thick you want the soup to be.
- Cavolo Nero — also called lacinato kale, this is a type of kale that works great in this recipe. You can substitute it with a different kind of kale, collard greens or even spinach. Alternatively, you can skip the greens altogether.
How do you make it?
- Chop all the veggies and rinse the green lentils well
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot and cook all the veggies except the potatoes until they soften
- Add the lentils, potatoes, and stock and simmer for 25 minutes
- Stir in the greens and lemon juice and cook for a couple of minutes more until the greens wilt
What do you serve with this soup?
This soup is perfect on its own, as it's hearty enough thanks to the lentils and potatoes, but you can serve it with some crusty bread if you want. Some pita or sourdough bread are also excellent choices.
Recipe notes and tips
- For different flavours in this Middle Eastern lentil soup recipe, use sweet potatoes instead of regular ones.
- If you want the soup to be more fiery, add some more crushed red chili flakes or use ½ seeded and minced red chilli instead.
- You can make this soup creamy if you want — use an immersion blender or ladle the soup into a stand blender.
- This Lebanese lemon lentil soup freezes well, so you can make a big batch and freeze the leftovers in air-tight containers for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. You may need to add a bit of water when reheating if it looks too thick.
If you loved this Lebanese lentil soup with lemon and kale, have a look at some of my other easy vegan soup recipes:
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 parsnip, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 200 g (7 oz) green lentils
- 2 medium potatoes, diced
- 1.25 litre (6 cups) vegetable stock
- 100 g (3.5 oz) Cavolo Nero (Lacinato kale), or another type of kale, shredded
- 1 lemon, juice of
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven and add the onion, carrot, celery, and parsnip. Cook on medium heat until they soften a bit, approximately 7-8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Next, stir in all the spices, and add the green lentils and potatoes.
- Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then cover with a lid, lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Add the Cavolo Nero and lemon juice and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Season to taste and serve on its own or with some crusty bread.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1054mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 9g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.