Super easy and nourishing soup that’s ready in 30 minutes. This Iraqi lentil soup only calls for a handful of ingredients and there’s no blending required (less washing up!). It’s also fairly high in protein and fibre.  

Iraqi Lentil Soup (Vegan)

I feel like Iraqi food (and Middle Eastern food in general) doesn’t get anywhere near the attention it deserves. I know I’m biased when saying this (because I grew up eating it), but Middle Eastern food is the tastiest, most delicious cuisine ever! It can also be fairly healthy with lots of colourful veggies, protein, spices and fresh herbs. 

As you can imagine for a hot country like Iraq, soups weren’t the most popular thing to eat. This is the one and only soup I remember eating growing up. It was usually served during the holy month of Ramadan to open fast with. 

The great thing about soups in general is that they’re easily adjustable towhat you like and prefer. You can use any spices you like, although I would argue that cumin is essential in this recipe. You can also add things like vegetables or even chicken or tofu if you want to bump up the protein content to make it a main meal.

You can enjoy this Iraqi lentil soup as an appetiser or a main meal with a side of crusty bread. I don’t usually blend it as I like a bit of texture, but of course you have the option to blend it if you prefer a smoother soup.

What you need to make this Iraqi lentil soup:

Red split lentils – you can get these from any supermarket. The great thing about red lentils is unlike other beans & pulses, they don’t need soaking or cooking before hand. They’re fast cooking, making them great for speedy meals like this one. 

White onion – Adds a lovely flavour to the soup.

Spices – Cumin is the essential spice in this soup. It goes so well with lentils. Really you can use any spices you like. I’ve also gone for curry powder and chilli. 

Vegetable stock – I usually use stock pots for ease, but stick cubes or homemade stock also work.

Lemon juice – To add just a hint of acidity.

Iraqi Lentil Soup (Vegan)

How to make this Iraqi lentil soup:

This soup is as easy as they come. You don’t even have to do any peeling and barley any chopping, apart from chopping the onion. Everything goes into one pot, bring to a boil then simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are soft. You don’t even need to blend it if you don’t mind a textured soup (which I do!). Of course you have the option to blend it if you want. 

All you have to do to make this Iraqi lentil soup is…

  • Heat the oil in a large pan and sautรฉ the onions for 5 minutes.
  •  Add the lentils, spices, veg stock and water. 
  • Bring to a quick boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Take off the heat and add the lemon juice. Serve with fresh coriander

How to store your Iraqi lentil soup:

You can store it in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to a week. It also freezes well for at least 3 months. Making it perfect for meal prep!

Why you need to try this Iraqi lentil soup:

  • It’s super easy
  • Calls for just a handful of ingredients 
  • Great source of protein
  • Filling & satisfying
  • Vegan & gluten-free
  • Easily adjustable 
  • Ready in 30 minutes
  • And it’s delicious & warming 

Iraqi Lentil Soup (Vegan)

This red lentil soup is inspired by my favourite soup growing up (shorbat addas). It's very simple to make, with a good amount of protein and fibre. You only need one pot and there's no blending needed. Easy, nourishing and delicious!
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine middle eastern
Servings 4
Calories 144 kcal


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 white onion finely chopped
  • 300g red lentils
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1.5 liters boiling water
  • 1 vegetable stock pot or stock cube
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Optional toppings

  • Fresh coriander
  • Chilli flakes
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Crispy fried onions


  • Heat the oil in a large pan and sautรฉ the onions for 5 minutes.
  • ย Add the lentils, spices, veg stock and water.ย 
  • Bring to a quick boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Take off the heat and add the lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle on the optional toppings and serve with some toasted bread.


Calories: 144kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 7gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 345mgPotassium: 4mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2g
Keyword easy recipes, healthy meals, healthy recipes, lentils, soup, vegan main meals, vegan soup
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