Slow-Cooker Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

Comforting, vibrant, vegetarian red lentil soup is garnished with cilantro, red onion, and a zap of lemon. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Note: If you like your soup with a touch of creaminess, adding a dollop
of plain yogurt works nicely.

Slow-Cooker Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 6 to 8
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:4 hours
Special equipment:Slow cooker, blender, or immersion blender
This recipe appears in: Slow Cooker Lebanese Red Lentil Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 4 cups dry red lentils, picked over for debris and rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 to 16 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or water
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 large red onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. 1

    Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring periodically, until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in cumin, cayenne, and paprika, and continue cooking until fragrant.

  2. 2

    Transfer mixture to a slow cooker. Add lentils, bay leaves and 12 cups of stock. Season with about 1 teaspoon of salt, stir to combine, and cover. Set slow cooker to low and cook for 4 hours, stirring hourly and adding in additional broth as needed to maintain a loose, soup-like consistency.

  3. 3

    When the soup is done, discard bay leaves, transfer to a blender or food processor, and add vinegar. Adjust seasonings, if needed, and purée until smooth. Ladle into bowls and top with red onion and cilantro, and serve with lemon wedges.


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