Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Shorbat Adas (Lentil Soup)

 The first recipe that I want to share is for Shorbat Adas, or lentil soup. Lentils, which probably originated in the Mediterranean area, are nutritious and delicious. There is a wide variety of lentils, but for this soup we will be using small red lentils. This is a good recipe to begin with because you won’t need to go to any special stores to track down ingredients.

Shorbat Adas is popular during Ramadan and usually eaten as a first course, but it is also delicious as a meal on its own. Many cooks have preferences for how they cook the soup but one can start with the basic recipe and experiment to find a method that works best for you.


  •  8 cups water
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups red lentils (these can be found at any store that sells organic products like Sprouts or Whole Foods Mart)
  • 3 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  •  ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ½-1 teaspoon turmeric


  1.  Wash and dry the lentils.
  2.  Sautee the onion and garlic in a large pot with a small amount of cooking oil.
  3. Add drained lentils and stir a few times.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally, on medium heat 35-40 minutes or until lentils are easily mushed.
  6. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  7. To make the soup smoother, use a whisk or other beater. 

Serving Suggestions:

Many people, such as myself, add lemon juice to the soup to change the taste a little. Also in our household, we fry bits of pita bread which we toss in when we eat it, similar to adding crackers to other soups.

Variations of the recipe:

There are plenty of different ways to cook shorbat adas with very similar results. For example some people cook the lentils in a pressure cooker, and some like to cook it on low heat for 2-3 hours. Some people might add meat, usually lamb, to their soup, or use some different spices.


  1. Coming from someone who has never cooked anything past macaroni and ramen, I find your recipe and directions very easy to follow. I like the fact that you included the meaning of the dish and gave background info on the ingredients as well. I know this probably isn't a blog for a beginning cook and I'm probably not your target audience, but some of the cooking utensils I've never seen before. But then again I'm a guy and more of a visual learner, so it might just be me. I hope to try out this recipe and not burn the house down in the process. But, I'm sure following these very straight-forward directions, that would be a difficult task to do.

  2. First time I've been to your site. We live in SE Michigan and love the Lebanese food we have all over here. I have a great recipe for Tawook, as well as rice pilaf and Fattoush. We love Shorbat Adas and I have been practicing with a similar recipe to yours. My wife loves it but I'm not sold yet. To me it just tastes different from the one we get from our local Lebanese place. It's also not very yellow, but I was only using cumin and coriander, no turmeric. We also weren't using any bouillon or chicken broth. I thought it needed more cumin but my wife insists that any more than the recipe calls for makes the soup taste like dirty feet. I think this time I'm going to use your recipe instead with 4 cups of broth and 4 cups of water and leave the coriander I was using out completely, replaced with the turmeric. Hoping it comes out right!