My favorite Mediterranean restaurant in Dallas, Afrah’s, serves the most beautiful and bright lemony lentil soup. I have been attempting to replicate it since I’ve first had it years ago. Binks ordered it for his whole meal and I scoffed at him for ignoring the other delicious options on the menu filled with juicy grilled meat, soft pita, sauces, and hummus galore. I have told you before how the old me would never make a meal of soup, let alone order it. Yet, watching my husband enjoying every bite of his soup made me want to try it instantly. As if I ever let him eat his meal without stealing a bite. That’s normal right? The soup was divine. Perfectly lemony without being too spiced up, I was determined to find a recipe to closely match the restaurant version.
After trying out a few soups, this recipe has become a family favorite to replace, or dare say replicate, the restaurant soup. While comforting soups like this are usually eaten during winter for me, the lemon really makes this bright enough to have year round.
Lemony Lentil Soup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 celery ribs, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- zest of one lemon
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups red split lentils, rinsed
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (the juice from the zested lemon should give you enough)
- Heat large heavy soup pot over medium-low heat. Add olive oil and heat.
- Add green onions, yellow onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, lemon zest, cumin, coriander, cloves, salt, and pepper. Saute the mixture until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Raise the heat to medium-high. Add lentils, water and vegetable stock to the pot. Bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that develops on the top of the water.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and tender.
- Add lemon juice. Cook for another 10 minutes over low heat.
- Season with additional salt, if necessary.