Our Lebanese Lentil Soup recipe is one of our favourite healthy soups to enjoy during Fall and Winter.
Also known as Adas Bil Hamod, our Lebanese Lentil Soup recipe is quick and easy to make, ready to serve in under an hour.
You’ll love spooning through a bowl of homemade Lebanese Lentil Soup featuring flavourful garlic, cilantro, cumin, cinnamon and lemons.
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What Is Soup?
Soup is a liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but can also be served cold like gazpacho), that is prepared by combining meat or vegetables with stock or water.
Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavours are extracted, creating a rich broth.
Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Soups generally have more liquid (broth) than chunkier and heartier stews.
In traditional French cuisine, soups are classified into two groups: clear soups (bouillon and consomme) and thick soups (purees, bisques, veloutes).
Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream.
History of Soup
Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers, such as clay pots. To boil the water hot rocks were used.
The word soup comes from French soupe (broth), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”) from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word “sop”, a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.
The word restaurant (meaning “restoring”) was first used in France in the 16th century, to refer to a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors, that was advertised as a cure to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant for eating establishments.
In America, the first colonial cookbook was published by William Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1742, based on Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife; or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, and it included several recipes for soups and bisques.
English cooking dominated early colonial cooking; but as new immigrants arrived from other countries, other national soups gained popularity. In particular, German immigrants living in Pennsylvania were famous for their potato soups. In 1794, Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien, a refugee from the French Revolution, opened an eating establishment in Massachusetts called The Restorator, and became known as the “Prince of Soups”.
Travel to the Middle East by Cooking Lebanese Lentil Soup at Home
I love traveling to the Middle East and North Africa.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in the Middle East, from authentic markets to award winning restaurants.
For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Lebanese Lentil Soup recipe via adventures that had me zig-zagging through Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Dubai. You guessed it! Some of my fondest food memories while traveling in the Middle East feature Adas Bil Hamod spritzed with fresh lemon.
I ate Lebanese Lentil Soup with flat bread at a traditional Moroccan riad, as a side dish with Turkish kebab in Istanbul and Bodrum, accompanied by kofta on a Nile Cruise and in bustling market in Cairo, late night fried soup feast in Amman, mid-afternoon slurp at bustling markets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and a massive Middle Eastern barbecue in the middle of the Dubai desert while belly dancers twirled under the night sky.
Where To Eat Authentic Adas Bil Hamod
Haven’t traveled to the Middle East before? It may be helpful to first sample Adas Bil Hamod at a local restaurant to better understand how the soup is served. You’ll get an idea for the desired chopped vegetables and spice level. You’ll also find inspiration on what to pair with Adas Bil Hamod such as such as fresh salads and flatbread.
In Toronto, popular Middle Eastern restaurants that may serve a traditional Lebanese Lentil Soup recipe include Ali Baba’s, Parallel, Byblos, Tabule, Fat Pasha, Maha’s, Masrawy Kitchen and Paramount Fine Foods.
My Family Loves Lebanese Lentil Soup
My dad would often make cream of tomato soup and serve a bowl with grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles. Our family also loved slurping through bowls of Butternut Squash Soup, French Onion Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.
During October in Ontario we’d often visit popular Fall Fairs in Norfolk County, Niagara and Prince Edward County to go on fun rides, run through corn mazes and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest season.
Adas Bil Hamod is Lebanon’s national soup, packed full of fresh vegetables and lentils. The soup is slightly sour thanks to the addition of fresh lemon juice before serving. The spiced soup features fragrant flavours thanks to fried garlic, fresh cilantro, cumin and cinnamon.
Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe Health Benefits
Our homemade Adas Bil Hamod recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of leeks can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
All types of lentils are rich in cholesterol-lowering fibre. They are also a low-fat source of iron, vital for the cardiovascular system and for energy, and contain B vitamins that protect against heart disease.
Packed with folate, vitamin C, and potassium, spinach helps keep your blood, immune system and eyes healthy.
A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, lemons help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.
A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals.
A rich source of blood-building iron, cumin may also help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol. It is also traditionally used as a digestive aid.
Rich in energy-boosting manganese, cinnamon is also antibacterial and may protect your brain against Alzheimer’s disease.
Lebanese Lentil Soup Recipe Tips
This healthy homemade soup is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time soup makers!
- Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking and pureeing the vegetables.
- We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon when making soup so you can easily stir, scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if it needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
- If you use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock this soup recipe is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
- Traditional Adas Bil Hamod ingredients vary based on old family recipes. Feel free to substitute green lentils for red lentils, olive oil for canola oil and spinach for kale or swiss chard.
- If you want to add additional protein to the dish, add a dollop of low fat Greek yogurt before serving.
What To Serve with Our Adas Bil Hamod Recipe
If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our healthy Lebanese Lentil Soup as an appetizer before serving heartier mains. We love serving this soup with Osaka Okonomayaki, Calgary Ginger Beef, Keto Jalapeno Poppers, Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu, Cheesy Polenta, Vegetarian Roti Canai Curry, Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Old School Cheese and Onion Pie, Green Onion Cake, Baked Mediterranean Chicken Thighs, Baked Chicken Cracklings, Homemade Savoury Pickle Pie, Indian Crepes, Vietnamese Crepe Bánh Xèo, Tartiflette Reblochon or Ricotta Gnocchi.
After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe or Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers.
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Storing Lebanese Lentil Soup
If you have leftover Lebanese Lentil Soup you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. To reheat simply zap it in the microwave or simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.
We love doubling our soup recipes so can store leftovers in the freezer and save time on cooking in the kitchen. We suggest storing leftover soup in Pyrex freezer safe containers that have a snug lid so there’s not spilling. My mother often uses old glass pasta sauce jars to store soup in the freezer.
Be sure to let your soup reach room temperature before storing it in the freezer. If you add a hot jar of soup to a cold freezer it will significantly reduce the interior temperature and potentially spoil your food.
How To Make Lebanese Lentil Soup “Adas Bil Hamod”
Lebanese Lentil Soup Adas Bil Hamod
- Dutch Oven or Large Pot
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Lemon juicer
- French knife
- vegetable peeler
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- 2 Large onions chopped
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 5 Garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup Green lentils washed
- 2 Medium potatoes diced
- 2 quarts Chicken stock
- 1 lb Frozen spinach
- 1 cup Cilantro chopped
- 1 tsp Ground cumin
- 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Lemons juiced
- In a dutch oven, fry the onion in oil until soft and golden. Add the garlic and stir until it begins to colour.
- Add the lentils, potatoes and the stock, and simmer for 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Add the spinach, cilantro, cinnamon and cumin to the soup and seasons with salt and pepper. Stir well and add more chicken stock to enjoy a thinner consistency.
- Cook for an additional 2 minutes then turn off heat and add lemon juice before serving in large soup bowls.
- Garnish Adas Bil Hamod with a lemon wedge.
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