Red Lentil and Rice soup

October 14, 2009  •  Category:

I tasted that soup for the first time ever in Beirut one year. It was made by Asma, a wonderful Kurdish lady who used to cook for my parents a couple times a week ; her soup was so soothing, so pure, so comforting. She only used three ingredients: red lentils, rice and broth.

Red lentil soup is so simple to make, it can be prepared on Friday night in anticipation of a lazy weekend. It can be either reduced to its essence, with just a sprinkle of rice, or doctored up with a number of spices. Whatever suits your fancy, that day.

INGREDIENTS: This quantity will yield 6 servings

  • 2 cups of red lentils
  • 1/4 cup of medium-grain rice ( Turkish or Egyptian or Sushi)
  • 6 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • seasoning of your choice: 2 teaspoon of ground cumin, a couple of lime leaves, a pinch of oregano, a teaspoon of red pepper flakes


  1. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pot
  2. Fry the chopped onions until golden
  3. Pour the broth and the lentils and all the seasoning minus the salt
  4. When the lentils are soft and have turned mushy, you can cool them a bit and then puree the mixture in a blender, although that step is optional
  5. Pour the lentils back in the pot and add the rice
  6. Return to a boil and lower the heat. Simmer gently until the rice is cooked
  7. Adjust seasonings and serve hot.

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16 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Laila says:

    Looks absolutely delicious .. and very comforting …
    Laila ..

  2. vincent says:


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  3. Sophie says:

    A beautiful soup this is!! I love red lentils!!!

  4. pierre says:

    hello Joumana,
    I love lentils …!
    If you like French creative cuisine come and see my blog you are very welcome and the last recipe is in english ! see you then !!
    Cheers Pierre

  5. PJ says:

    Hi,First time to your blog.Was browsing ur vegetarian section and loved the recipes.Will try this soup for sure!

  6. Andrea from Ottawa says:

    I had my mom in law over a while ago, she’s Kurdish, and I forgot how she made her lentil soup, so I went on the net trying to find a recipe and nothing came close except this! I didn’t brown the onions, i sauteed them until transparent. Also, I made it with water, not with broth (that’s how the mom in law made it) and I used brown rice, which meant I had to boil it a lot longer for the rice to soften.
    It turned out reallly great! We ate it with a squeeze of lemon. Thanks for posting this. I will be checking out your other recipes ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. samir says:

    ..we always have lemon slices on the side for those who wish to squeeze fresh lemon onto this soup

  8. samir says:

    sorry I meant lemon wedges on side, not slices

  9. Lara says:

    Coucou , j.espere que vous allez bien ๐Ÿ™‚ chez moi il pleut depuis un mois , non stop,alors ce soir j’ ai rien trouve de mieux qu’une soupe qui porte l’odeur de l’enfance et des grand parents … Vos recettes sont toujours a l’origine d’un bon repas en famille , quoi de mieux ? Bonne soiree et a bientot

  10. Kristof Balling says:

    Can I add canned tomatoes?

  11. Joumana says:

    Sure, why not? Tomatoes go well with it.

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