Middle Eastern Lentil Soup – Vegan and Gluten Free

 

Hearty and delicious Middle Eastern Lentil soup is the perfect vegan and gluten free soup for the cold nights.

Vegan and Gluten free lentil soup

Soup is considered a meal by itself in out house.  All we need is some bread on the side and we are happy. I started making this Lentil soup when my kids were still small and we ate it for the first time from the local Middle Eastern Restaurant back in NY.

During one of our eat out at the local Middle Eastern restaurant, the owner of the restaurant sent us home with a huge container of lentil soup. We were the last people in the restaurant and the owner mentioned that she had the soup left over. Since we are vegetarians and their lentil soup was a very popular vegetarian option, she sent us home with some. 

The next night this soup was what we had for dinner and we loved the intensity of the flavor in the soup. So immediately I started figuring out the spices in the soup and I tried to mimic that recipe.

To my surprise the soup turned out exactly similar to the one we had in the restaurant. So, I made it again for my kid’s birthday party. That time I made the soup for around 40 people and it was spot on. My guests loved it and I really enjoyed seeing them making a visit back to the soup table. 

Middle eastern vegan soup

Can I make this soup in Instant Pot? 

Ever since then, I have been making this soup very regularly. With the recent Instant Pot addition, I have started making the soup in the IP instead of stove top and it is even quicker. It is almost a dump and cook recipe and needs less than 10 minutes of hands on time. I am still keeping the pictures and procedure for stove top recipe for my readers who don’t use an Instant pot. I have also included a video for the recipe using an Instant Pot. 

Is this Middle Eastern Lentil Soup Vegan?

This Lentil Soup is absolutely vegan and is a great lunch option. It is very filling and the lentils make up for the protein part. We are not compromising on any flavors and the spices are spot on. 

Is this Middle Eastern Lentil Soup Gluten Free – 

Lentils and spices are naturally gluten free. If you have gluten insensitivity, like with any product, make sure you are buying certified gluten free. The spice powders can sometimes have wheat flour mixed, so make sure you grind your own spice or use certified gluten free. I have used cumin and coriander powder in the recipe which is very easy to grind at home. I dry roast whole cumin seeds and whole coriander seeds until aromatic and then grind it in my spice grinder. 

Vegan and Gluten free soup

This is a very easy recipe and perfect if you have small kids at home who cannot eat chunky stuff. If you like chunky soup, blend the soup minimally or leave it as is. 

If you are looking for more soup recipes in Instant Pot, then check out this Minestrone soup recipe and 15 Bean soup recipe. 

Also check out my other soup recipes that I have in my blog here

middle eastern lentil soup

Preparation time – 20 mins
Cooking time – 45 mins
Difficulty level – easy

Ingredients to make Middle Eastern Lentil Soup – (serves 6)

  • Lentils – 1 cup (I used the orange masoor dal)
  • Onion – 1 large / about 1 cup (chopped)
  • Tomatoes – 2 (chopped)
  • Carrot – 2 / about 1 cup (chopped)
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Cumin seeds – 1tsp
  • Fennel seeds / saunf – 1 tsp
  • Garlic – 2 (minced finely)
  • Crushed Red pepper – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Cilantro– to garnish

Procedure to make Middle Eastern Lentil Soup – 

Instant Top method – 

  • Wash and soak the lentils in water for about 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  • Turn the Instant pot on saute mode and add the oil in the inner pot. Once the oil heats up, add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Fry for about 10 seconds.
  • Now add the chopped onions and the bay leaf and saute until the onion are soft and translucent. This takes about 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Add the chopped garlic and mix well. Fry for about 30 seconds and then add the chopped carrot and tomatoes. 
  • Next add the crushed red pepper, coriander powder and cumin powder and mix well. 
  • Add the drained lentils to the pot along with black pepper powder and salt.

Procedure to make lentil soup in instant pot

  • Mix well to combine and add about 4 cups of water. 
  • Add the turmeric powder and mix well. 
  • Close the IP and turn off the the pot from saute mode. 
  • Set it on pressure cook / Manual for 12 minutes. Once the cook time is done, let the pressure release manually. 

Lentils soup in instant pot

  • Open the pot and then using an immersion blender, blend the soup to the consistency you prefer. Check the seasoning and adjust based on your preference. Garnish with cilantro or parsley and serve hot. 

Lentil soup served in soup bowl

Stove top method – 

  • Wash and soak the lentils in water for about 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

Soaked orange lentil

  • In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and then add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Once the seeds fry, add the chopped onion and the bay leaf and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Now add the minced garlic and fry for a minute.
  • Now add the chopped carrot and cook for about 7-8 minutes until slightly cooked.
  • Then the tomatoes go in. Cook for 5 more minutes and then add the lentils.
  • Add about 4 cups of water and bring it to boil. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder and simmer it until the lentils cook. This will take about 30 minutes.
  • Now add the salt and pepper to taste and check for the doneness of lentils. 

Cooking middle eastern lentil soup on stove top

  • Use an immersion blender and grind the soup to your required consistency. I generally leave it slightly on the chunky side. If using a regular blender, wait until the soup cools down a bit and then grind it. You do not want hot soup all over the house!

Blending the lentil soup using an immersion blender

  • Garnish with cilantro and parsley and serve hot with some crusty bread.  

How to make vegan and GF lentil soup

How to make lentil soup
5 from 10 votes
Print

Middle Eastern Lentil Soup

Hearty and delicious Middle Eastern Lentil soup is the perfect vegan and gluten free soup for the cold nights.

Course Soup
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Keyword gluten free lentil soup, How to make Middle eastern lentil soup, soup for dinner, vegan and gluten free soup, vegan lentil soup
Servings 6 Servings
Author Sandhya Ramakrishnan

Ingredients

  • Lentils – 1 cup I used the orange masoor dal
  • Onion – 1 large / about 1 cup chopped
  • Tomatoes – 2 chopped
  • Carrot – 2 / about 1 cup chopped
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Cumin seeds – 1tsp
  • Fennel seeds / saunf – 1 tsp
  • Garlic – 2 minced finely
  • Crushed Red pepper - 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Cilantro– to garnish

Instructions

Instant Top method -

  1. Wash and soak the lentils in water for about 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Turn the Instant pot on saute mode and add the oil in the inner pot. Once the oil heats up, add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Fry for about 10 seconds.
  3. Now add the chopped onions and the bay leaf and saute until the onion are soft and translucent. This takes about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped garlic and mix well. Fry for about 30 seconds and then add the chopped carrot and tomatoes.
  5. Next add the crushed red pepper, coriander powder and cumin powder and mix well.
  6. Add the drained lentils to the pot along with black pepper powder and salt.
  7. Mix well to combine and add about 4 cups of water.
  8. Add the turmeric powder and mix well.
  9. Close the IP and turn off the the pot from saute mode.
  10. Set it on pressure cook / Manual for 12 minutes. Once the cook time is done, let the pressure release manually.
  11. Open the pot and then using an immersion blender, blend the soup to the consistency you prefer. Check the seasoning and adjust based on your preference. Garnish with cilantro or parsley and serve hot.

Stove top method -

  1. Wash and soak the lentils in water for about 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and then add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Once the seeds fry, add the chopped onion and the bay leaf and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Now add the minced garlic and fry for a minute.
  3. Now add the chopped carrot and cook for about 7-8 minutes until slightly cooked.
  4. Then the tomatoes go in. Cook for 5 more minutes and then add the lentils.
  5. Add about 4 cups of water and bring it to boil. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder and simmer it until the lentils cook. This will take about 30 minutes.
  6. Now add the salt and pepper to taste and check for the doneness of lentils.
  7. Use an immersion blender and grind the soup to your required consistency. I generally leave it slightly on the chunky side. If using a regular blender, wait until the soup cools down a bit and then grind it. You do not want hot soup all over the house!
  8. Garnish with cilantro and parsley and serve hot with some crusty bread.

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23 thoughts on “Middle Eastern Lentil Soup – Vegan and Gluten Free

  1. WE love soups but unfortunately my folks don't feel soup is a dinner menu by itself! Though I would love to have it, they prefer it like snacks or as as starter.This one is truly filling and healthy too, not to mention flavorful!

  2. 5 stars
    This is such a delicious lentil soup. I love the middle eastern spices in the recipe – so warm and comforting. Thank you for the Instant pot recipe – will try it out for my family some time.

  3. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this lentil soup. I’ve made it a few times. I think it’s the addition of the fennel that makes this soup so delicious – it’s just the perfect back note!

  4. 5 stars
    This is one dish which we always order while eating at a Middle Eastern restaurant. It’s so simple, comforting and delicious. Your soup looks perfect.

  5. 5 stars
    Winters are setting in here in this part of the world and this bowl of soup is more than a welcome. I always use pink lentils to make khichadi or dal but never used it for soup.
    Vegan and gluten-free is an added advantage. Lovely share.

  6. I love this lentils soup, I always use this pink-yellow lentil for dal and khichdi, we called this lentil moong-masoor dal.Never thought of making soup from this. Yours soup are tempting me to make some soon. Nice share!!

    1. 5 stars
      Lentil soup is my family favourite.Although I make it regularly, I’ve never tried this version with all those flavourful spices. Texture is absolutely spot on. I’ll try this version next time.

  7. 5 stars
    One bowl of the soup itself is a meal for me. It’s so healthy and filling as well. This lentil soup is perfect for this winter. It looks so delicious and comforting. Great share!

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