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Gluten Free, Lunch, Nut free, Soups, Stews & Chili, Under 400 calories, Vegan Recipes

Crushed Lentil Soup

This Crushed Lentil Soup is an amazing version of the popular Middle Eastern soup, with surprising hints of spicy and sweet flavors. So healthy and so damn delicious! 

The best Crushed Lentil Soup – I via veggiechick.com I #vegan #glutenfree

There’s an amazing Middle Eastern restaurant in the Detroit area called “Pita Cafe”. Every time my husband and I get back from a trip, Pita Cafe is the first place we stop on the way back from the airport. I love our little tradition and it’s always something to look forward to when we’re coming back home. It’s funny because even though I’m not Middle Eastern and did not grow up with this type of food, it still feels like home to me. I still remember our trip to the Republic of Georgia (near Turkey). I don’t think I have ever been that excited to have “American” food in my entire life. =)

Pita Cafe has the most delicious Crushed Lentil Soup, and I’ve finally gotten my recipe to taste pretty close to Pita Cafe’s, although my husband says it’s even better. I’ve literally made this soup dozens of times, testing and retesting it, until it was absolutely perfect. I’m happy to say that this is the #1 most popular recipe on my blog!

The best Crushed Lentil Soup – I via veggiechick.com I #vegan #glutenfree

To start, in a large stock pot on medium-high heat, sauté the oil, onions and garlic 3-5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add 3 cups vegetable broth, water, red lentils, saffron, coriander, cumin, pepper, salt, and the red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the lentils are no longer firm, 15-18 minutes or so.

Now move the soup mixture to a food processor, which fits perfectly in my 13 quart food processor (don’t fill more than 3/4 of the food processor). Or, if you don’t have one, you can use a blender. Just be very careful doing this. If you transfer too much of the liquid into the blender, it could explode! And it may be possible I’m speaking from experience…(thus, one of the reasons I bought a big food processor….) =) So, if using a blender, you might need to do it in 2 batches.

After you get it all in the food processor or blender, process or blend until smooth. It won’t take long- just a minute or so. Isn’t it amazing how the red lentils give off such a cool yellow color? Yes, I’m easily amazed.

The best Crushed Lentil Soup – I via veggiechick.com I #vegan #glutenfree

Add the hot soup back into the stock pot and add the remaining 1 cup broth and the bay leaves. Cook over low heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaves (if you can find them!) and add the lemon juice. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it gets. After a few hours, it will thicken up even more. I recommend serving this Crushed Lentil Soup with pita bread and garlic sauce, just as I would at my favorite Middle Eastern restaurant.

The best Crushed Lentil Soup – I via veggiechick.com I #vegan #glutenfree

The best Crushed Lentil Soup – I via veggiechick.com I #vegan #glutenfree

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Crushed Lentil Soup (Vegan, Gluten Free)

5 from 9 reviews

This Crushed Lentil Soup is an amazing version of the popular Middle Eastern soup, with surprising hints of spicy and sweet flavors. So healthy and so damn delicious!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups unsalted vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups red split lentils, uncooked
  • 1 small pinch saffron
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot on medium-high heat, sauté onion with oil and garlic 3-5 min or until onion is translucent. Add 3 cups broth (save remaining 1 cup broth for later), water, lentils, saffron, coriander, cumin, black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to medium and bring to simmer. Cover and cook until the lentils are no longer firm (15-18 min).
  2. Very carefully pour the lentil mixture into a food processor (or blender) and puree until smooth. Depending on how big your food processor/blender is, you may need to do this in batches.
  3. Put mixture back into the large stock pot and add remaining 1 cup broth and bay leaves; stir. Cook over low heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove bay leaves, add lemon juice and stir.
  5. Once it sits for a few hours, it will soak up most of the liquid and thicken up a lot.

Nutrition_Crushed_Lentil_Soup

Hi, I'm Christin- thanks for stopping by my happy place! Here you will find healthy, original meat-free recipes. No matter where you are in your health journey, I hope I can help and inspire you. Read more...

44 Comments

  • I cannot wait to make this tonight! My husband LOVES…Pita Cafe’s crushed lentil! I tried to recreate it once before, my husband wasn’t impressed. Thanks you – I hope this recipe is the one!

    Reply
    • I hope you love it, and your husband is impressed. Let me know! 😉

      Reply
      • Do you know if this recipe would work in an Instant Pot? Thx!!
        Leigh

        Reply
        • Hi Leigh, I haven’t tried it but I imagine it would be great! If you try it, let me know. =)

          Reply
  • Thanks for this recipie!! I’ve been waiting for something like this! I love Pita Cafe and since I moved away from Detroit (now in London) I have been missing all the good Lebanese restaurants we have in MI. Now I just need to recreate the pita bread!!

    Reply
    • I hear ya- that pita bread is amazing, and their lentil soup… At least you have something to look forward to when you come back to Detroit! =)

      Reply
  • I am so excited to make the soup. I love the fact that it’s vegan and gluten free

    Reply
    • Thank you carmella! =)

      Reply
      • I made the soup!!! I should have posted the day my Arabic husband went crazy over the soup.

        Reply
        • left out the word same and forgot my comma

          Reply
        • Thanks Carmella! I’m glad to hear your husband liked it!! It’s one of my favorites. =)

          Reply
  • I just made this tonight for my husband and I – WOW, it tasted just like the crushed lentil soup from our favourite mediterranean restaurant! Thanks for the great recipe – will be making it again!

    Reply
    • Oh that’s so great to hear Lauren! Thanks SO much for letting me know!! =)

      Reply
  • What a gorgeous color! Looks delicious

    Reply
    • Thanks Joyce!! I’ve made this so many times…yum!

      Reply
  • Thanks so much for this recipe! Since I moved to the west coast from Detroit 16 years ago I’ve been dying for crushed lentil soup. I’ve made this 4 times in the last 2 months! 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Kelly, thanks so much. That is a HUGE compliment! I’m so glad you like it. Yay! =)

      Reply
  • I’m trying this recipe today, my husband and I moved to north carolina from Detroit 5 years ago and definitely miss our favorite Lebanese restaurant and the food. Can you tell me how many days will it stay good in the refrigerator?? Thanks again for this we’re so excited to try it out….more comments to fooe.

    Reply
    • Thanks Jodi! =) This generally lasts 3-4 days in the fridge. I hope you enjoy and it gives you a little sense of home. =)

      Reply
  • Hi . Thank you for this. I moved to California and haven’t been able to find anything like it here. Any chance you have a recipe for the garlic paste?! Thanks again

    Reply
    • Hi Larry, no problem! I hope you enjoy it. =) I don’t have a recipe for garlic paste yet, but it’s funny mention it cause it’s on my list of recipes to make! I’ll have to do that…

      Reply
  • Christin – thank you for sharing this. I make soup every week for our family – so I feel fairly qualified when I say, it is simply the best lentil soup – ever!

    Reply
    • Thank you Briare! 😉 You are so kind. Glad you like it!

      Reply
  • Hello, I’ve made his soup today but unfortunately did not get he nice beautiful color.

    Reply
    • Hi Miriam, sorry to hear that! What kind of lentils did you use? That makes a difference. Hopefully you enjoyed the taste! I love this soup. =)

      Reply
  • looks great! I would like to make this today for dinner. I have a dilemma I only have green lentils in my cabinet. so question can I substitute green lentils for the red. of course it’s not going to have the gorgeous color but would have the same taste

    Reply
    • I’ve made this soup with green lentils before and yes! it of course didn’t have the pretty color but it was delicious! =) Enjoy!

      Reply
  • I’ve made this 3 times in the last 2 weeks. Perfect way to get through cold winter days and nights. I’m not an experienced cook, found this online, and chose it for its simplicity. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Steven, you just made my day! I’m so glad you like the Crushed Lentil Soup- it’s one of my faves. Thanks so much for letting me know. =)

      Reply
  • Even though I live in the Detroit area, I love that I can now have my favorite soup at home. Waiting was the hardest part! I used my hand blender and didn’t have to lift a hot pan. Took all of two minutes for silky smooth soup.

    Reply
    • Thanks Ava! So glad you enjoyed it! =)

      Reply
  • I love this soup! My hand mixer has changed everything. No longer have to dump it in and out of the pot. Quick question, 1 serving is 1 cup? That’s what I’m assuming…

    Reply
    • Thanks Marley! So glad you love the soup. Yes a serving is right around a cup ?

      Reply
  • My mom has been ill and it’s one of the only things she loves to eat so I really appreciate it. I highly recommend the hand mixer! I’m truly thankful that you posted this! Thank you ?

    Reply
    • Aww that’s so kind of you to say. I’m glad your mom loves it too! =)

      Reply
  • I just made this the other night. It was SO GOOD!! I’ve been looking for a crushed lentil soup recipe for a long time, and this is perfect.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Alison! So glad you liked it. =)

      Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe twice now, and it is excellent! Even my husband, who is somewhat wary of lentils/beans, absolutely loves this recipe! I make it as written, excepting the saffron, which I don’t have on hand, and the seasoning is perfect.

    Reply
    • Thank you Melodie! I’m so glad you let me know, and I’m happy to hear you and your husband love the soup!! It’s one of my favorites too. =)

      Reply
  • How funny to have stumbled upon your blog — I ADORE Pita Cafe’s crushed lentil soup and googled in search of a general crushed lentil soup recipe with their soup in mind. Thank you for testing and posting!! I promise to make it soon even though I live file miles from the restaurant. Cheers!!

    Reply
    • Hi Amy, that’s so awesome, glad you stumbled across my blog! =) Let me know how the recipe works out! It’s definitely one of my faves.

      Reply
  • I’m in North Carolina and homesick for Michigan. We don’t have any good middle eastern food here. This soup was delicious! Tasted like home. I only wish we could have strolled down Old Woodward and done some window shopping after dinner tonight.

    Reply
  • I made your Crushed Lentil soup tonight and it’s one of the best soup recipes I’ve ever made! I knew I had to try your version, since you compared it to Pita Cafe’s version. I live near there, but would rather make it at home. I am very impressed with your version. I added about seven chopped baby carrots at the same time I added the first round of broth. I also used an Immersion blender, but didn’t puree it completely. I like it to have a little bit of a chunky consistency. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe. This will be my go to soup from now on. It was also very simple to make.

    Reply
    • Thank you Suzy, I’m so happy to hear that!! =) I love the addition of carrots, sounds amazing!

      Reply

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