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This Arabic lentil soup (called shorba al-adas) is a supreme example of how to turn inexpensive ingredients like turmeric, cumin, and red lentils into a delicious healthy meal.
The first time I had this lovely soup I was visiting one of my best friends in Dubai, so many years ago. I fell in love with the spicy Middle Eastern flavor and I’ve been making it since then.
It’s super convenient, satisfying, and packed with health benefits. It’s also a breeze to make, definitely one of my favorite weekly staples.
Plus, red lentils are terrific cupboard essentials, they’re packed with protein and cook faster than their green or brown counterparts, they need no pre-soaking and are perfect for nourishing soups.
Then serve this delicious spicy soup with a good squeeze of lemon juice (don’t skip it!) and freshly chopped coriander, they add freshness and an up note that offsets the deep cumin flavor.
But the best part is the thick and comforting texture, just made for dunking in crusty bread!
What ingredients you need
- Red lentils
- Vegetable broth
- Cumin, turmeric
- Coriander or parsley
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Lemon juice
How to make it
- Saute’ onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes
- Add garlic and spices and stir for 1 minute
- Then add lentils, carrots, and give a good stir
- Add broth, salt, pepper and bring to the boil
- Cook for about 20 minutes
- Serve with chopped coriander and fresh lemon juice
It seems our grocery bill goes up every year, making it harder and harder to find balanced meals that suit the whole family. But ingredients like lentils and carrots, even their organic version, are inexpensive (roughly $2.50/lb (bulk) and $1/lb, respectively) and taste great.
This budget-friendly and spicy red lentil soup cost only $1 per serving, it’s ready in a flash and it’s super healthy!
Turmeric has amazing health properties since it works as a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer spice.
Moreover, the addition of a good pinch black pepper seems to increase the full potential of turmeric and makes this soup a powerhouse recipe perfect for the whole family.
Red lentils contain more protein than most other types of beans and legumes. They are low calories and low fat but rich in iron, vitamin B, and fiber. Fiber is an important part of your diet, as it helps control blood sugar and reduces the appetite
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Although the authentic recipe calls just for one carrot, I add more. And if I run out of carrots, squash or sweet potatoes are also great, they add nutrients and fabulous color and texture to this hearty spicy red lentil soup.
If you make this healthy and flavorsome spicy red lentil soup, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you! x
SPICY RED LENTIL SOUP WITH CARROTS.
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained (300 grams)
- 1 cup carrots, diced (150-200 grams)
- 4 cups vegetable broth or hot water* (approx 950 ml)
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1-2 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin (or cumin seeds)
- 1 lemon, juice
- 1 handful coriander or parsley, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 1/8 tsp black pepper, or according to taste
- Rinse your lentils under runny water and drain.
- In a large pot heat gently the olive oil, add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion starts to soften.
- Add cumin, turmeric, garlic, and stir for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Then add lentils, carrots and give a good stir.
- Add the broth, salt, and pepper and bring to the boil*.
- Reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pot from the heat, check the seasoning and the consistency (you might like a thicker or a thinner soup, so you can add or reduce the amount of liquid – see notes)*.
- If you like, blend with a hand blender if you like a smooth and creamy soup.
- Serve with chopped parsley or coriander, a pinch of paprika if you like and freshly squeezed lemon juice*.
- I usually make my own vegetable broth cooking for about 5-10 minutes vegetable scraps and herbs. However, when I’m short on time I go for hot water and vegan low salt vegetable broth cubes.
- Seasoning: If you use a vegetable or chicken broth that tastes quite salty on its own, it’s important to adjust the seasoning at the end and not at the beginning as you never really know how strong the salt from the broth is.
In this case, I would start only with a good pinch of salt, no more than that.
- Lemon: dd a little lemon juice at a time and see which level of acidity fits your taste.
- Leftover: it keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days. t’s also freezable: divide among airtight containers (leaving 1-inch space at the top), and freeze up to 2 months.
- Texture: This red lentil soup is quite thick. If you prefer a thinner consistency, just slowly add more broth until you’re happy with it. Otherwise, water it down a little bit and add more spices.
- Nutrition facts: the nutrition values are for one portion and are based on an online nutrition calculator. It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please see my disclosure policies.