Satisfy Your Cravings with Delicious Iraqi Lentil Soup

Welcome to my easy lentil soup recipe, inspired by the flavors of Iraqi cuisine. This lentil soup, also known as shorbeh, is a staple dish in Iraqi households and is enjoyed by all. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s simple, nutritious, and delicious. Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, and iron, making this soup a healthy and satisfying meal.

As a chef, I’m always looking for ways to make classic dishes more accessible and approachable. I’ve adapted this recipe to be easy to follow, with simple ingredients that are readily available in most grocery stores. This recipe is perfect for busy weeknights when you need a quick and hearty meal on the table.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps of making this delicious soup, plus share some tips and tricks for perfect results. So let’s get started and dive into the world of Iraqi cuisine with this easy lentil soup recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Iraqi Shorbeh- Easy Lentil Soup
Iraqi Shorbeh- Easy Lentil Soup

If you’re looking for a hearty and comforting soup recipe that’s also incredibly easy to make, then this Iraqi Shorbeh – Easy Lentil Soup Recipe is perfect for you! This delicious soup is made with simple ingredients, including orange lentils, chicken bouillon cube, salt, black pepper, and water.

The best part? This recipe can be made in just under 30 minutes, and it’s a one-pot meal that can feed a crowd! Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for your family, this soup is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you feeling warm and cozy on a chilly night.

Not only is this soup recipe quick and easy, but it’s also packed with flavor and nutrition. Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber, making this soup a healthy and filling option that can keep you energized throughout the day. Plus, the black pepper and chicken bouillon cube add a delicious depth of flavor that will have you coming back for seconds (and maybe even thirds!).

So, whether you’re a fan of lentil soup or just looking to try something new, this Iraqi Shorbeh – Easy Lentil Soup Recipe is definitely worth a try. It’s a classic dish from the Iraqi cuisine that will take your taste buds on a journey to the Middle Eastern flavors. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll love it!

Ingredient List

 A warm bowl of comfort on a chilly day.
A warm bowl of comfort on a chilly day.

Before we begin, let’s gather all the necessary ingredients for this Iraqi Shorbeh – Easy Lentil Soup Recipe. In this recipe, we will be using 2 cups of orange lentils, 4 cups of water, 1 chicken bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons of black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of salt. You will also need 1 tablespoon of dry onion, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of chicken broth. If you want to add more flavor, you can use chicken vegetable stock instead of water. This recipe takes about 30 minutes to prep and cook, and it makes 4-6 servings.

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Soak the Lentils

Before starting to cook, I like to soak the lentils for at least an hour. This step helps the lentils cook evenly and reduces the cooking time. Rinse 2 cups of orange lentils and place them in a bowl. Add enough water to cover the lentils by at least an inch. Let the lentils soak for an hour or longer.

Step 2: Cook the Vegetables

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of dry onion and cook for a minute or two until the onion starts to soften. Then add 2 chopped carrots and 2 chopped celery stalks. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.

Step 3: Add the Lentils and Seasonings

Drain the soaked lentils and add them to the pot with the vegetables. Add 4 cups of water and 1 chicken bouillon cube. If you prefer a vegetarian version, you can use vegetable bouillon or just use water. Add 2 teaspoons of black pepper and 2 tablespoons of salt. Stir well.

Step 4: Cook the Soup

Bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.

Step 5: Blend the Soup

Once the lentils are tender, turn off the heat and let the soup cool for a few minutes. Then, using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend the soup until it is smooth and creamy. If using a regular blender, blend the soup in batches.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy

Serve the soup hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper. This soup is delicious on its own or with a side of bread or salad. Enjoy your homemade Iraqi Shorbeh!

Substitutions and Variations

 Let the vibrant colors and flavors of this soup brighten up your day.
Let the vibrant colors and flavors of this soup brighten up your day.

If you’re looking to switch things up in this Iraqi Shorbeh recipe, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can try.

Firstly, if you’re not a fan of orange lentils, you can use red lentils instead. They will give the soup a different taste and texture, but it will still be delicious.

If you want to make the soup a bit heartier, you can add some vegetables like diced carrots and celery. These will add some texture and flavor to the soup. Alternatively, you can skip the chicken bouillon cube and use chicken or vegetable stock instead. This will give the soup a richer flavor without adding any extra salt.

If you’re a fan of spice, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or some chopped jalapeños to the soup. This will give it a nice kick without overpowering the other flavors.

For a vegan version of this soup, you can skip the chicken bouillon cube and use vegetable broth instead. You can also add some diced potatoes or sweet potatoes for some extra texture and flavor.

Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try adding some Middle Eastern spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric to the soup. This will give it a unique flavor profile that is common in Iraqi cuisine.

Overall, there are many substitutions and variations that you can try with this recipe to make it your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you!

Serving and Pairing

Iraqi Shorbeh is a hearty and comforting lentil soup that is perfect for chilly nights or when you’re in need of a warm and filling meal. This soup is delicious on its own, but you can elevate your dining experience by serving it with some accompaniments.

For a classic serving, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle some chopped parsley on top. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to give it a tangy kick. You can also drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil over the soup for a rich flavor.

Pairing Iraqi Shorbeh with some bread is also a great idea. A slice of toasted bread or pita bread is perfect for dipping into the soup. You can also serve it with some rice or couscous for a more substantial meal.

If you want to add some freshness and crunch to your meal, consider serving a side salad. A simple cucumber and tomato salad with a lemon dressing would pair well with the flavors of the soup.

For a heartier meal, you can serve Iraqi Shorbeh with some grilled chicken or lamb kabobs. The smoky flavors of the meat complement the soup’s earthy and savory taste.

This soup is also perfect for a cozy night in. Serve it with a glass of red wine or a hot cup of tea to complete the experience.

No matter how you serve it, Iraqi Shorbeh is a versatile and delicious soup that can be enjoyed in many ways.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

This Iraqi Shorbeh lentil soup is perfect for make-ahead meals or meal prep. You can easily double or triple the recipe to have leftovers for the week. The soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

To reheat the soup, simply warm it up on a stovetop over medium heat until it reaches your desired temperature. You can also reheat it in the microwave, but be sure to stir it occasionally to ensure even heating.

If you find that the soup has become too thick after refrigeration or freezing, you can add a little bit of water or broth to thin it out. Just be sure to taste and adjust the seasoning as needed before serving.

I recommend storing the soup without any toppings or garnishes, as they may become soggy or lose their flavor over time. You can add fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon juice to each serving to brighten up the flavors.

Overall, this soup is a great option for meal prepping or for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Tips for Perfect Results

If you want to achieve the perfect results for your Iraqi Shorbeh, here are some tips that you can follow:

First, make sure to rinse the lentils thoroughly before cooking them. This will help remove any dirt or debris that may be present.

Second, use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water for a richer flavor. If you don’t have any stock on hand, you can add a chicken bouillon cube to the water to enhance the taste.

Third, add the salt towards the end of the cooking process. This will prevent the lentils from becoming too salty and will allow you to adjust the seasoning to your taste.

Fourth, if you’re using an Instant Pot, use the manual setting and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure.

Fifth, if you want a creamier texture, blend a portion of the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender. This will help thicken the soup and give it a silky smooth texture.

Sixth, if you’re looking for a variation, try adding some diced carrots and celery to the soup. This will add some additional flavor and texture to the dish.

Seventh, if you don’t have orange lentils, you can use red lentils instead. They cook faster than orange lentils and will give the soup a slightly different flavor.

Lastly, if you want to add some heat to the soup, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or some red pepper flakes. This will give the soup a little kick and add some depth to the flavor.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious and authentic Iraqi Shorbeh that your family and friends will love.


Before you start cooking your Iraqi Shorbeh, let’s answer some frequently asked questions to make sure you get the most out of this recipe. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, it’s always helpful to have some extra tips and recommendations to achieve the best results. So, let’s dive into the FAQ section!

Should I soak lentils before making lentil soup?

Lentils have a leg up over beans in that they don’t require soaking before cooking. However, it’s important to sort and rinse them before throwing them into the pot. Keep in mind that cooking times can vary depending on the type of lentil you’re using. For instance, red lentils cook the quickest and will dissolve as they simmer, creating a velvety texture perfect for soups.

What is the difference between Dal and lentil soup?

When it comes to Indian cuisine, the term “dal” can be a bit confusing. This word can refer to both the lentils and beans themselves, as well as a thick and hearty soup or purée made from them. Essentially, a lentil dal is simply a delicious and nutritious lentil soup.

What is Moroccan lentil soup made of?

To start off, let’s begin by heating up a large pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, we’ll add a splash of olive oil and toss in some chopped onions, minced garlic, and grated ginger. We’ll let these ingredients saute for about 5 minutes until they become fragrant and slightly caramelized.

Next, we’ll add in some water, lentils, chickpeas, white kidney beans, diced tomatoes, sliced carrots, and chopped celery. For seasoning, we’ll incorporate a blend of garam masala, cardamom, cayenne pepper, and cumin. This will infuse the dish with warm, aromatic flavors that will make your taste buds dance with delight.

Why is my lentil soup bland?

Lentils are an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be transformed into a delicious dish with the right flavors. However, if you fail to add any flavor, they can end up tasting quite dull. One trick is to infuse them with aromatics by adding them to the water while cooking. Alternatively, using chicken or vegetable stock instead of water can also enhance the flavors of the lentils.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Iraqi Shorbeh is a simple and delicious soup that you can make with just a few ingredients. This recipe is perfect for those who are new to cooking or for anyone looking for a quick and easy meal. With its rich and hearty flavor and wholesome ingredients, it’s no wonder that Iraqi Shorbeh is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine.

So why not try making this easy lentil soup recipe for yourself? With just a few simple steps and some basic ingredients, you can create a flavorful and satisfying dish that will warm you up and keep you going throughout the day. Whether you’re looking for a healthy and hearty meal or just something quick and easy to whip up, Iraqi Shorbeh is the perfect choice. So go ahead and give it a try today!

Iraqi Shorbeh- Easy Lentil Soup Recipe

this food is a staple in my house. you cant go wrong. its fast, incredibly easy, and healthy too. serve with toasted pita.

  • 2 cups orange lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt or 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dry onion
  1. 1. wash lentils.
  2. 2. fill pot with lentils and water, pepper and salt, onion.
  3. 3. bring to a rapid boil.
  4. 4. cover, reduce heat to simmer.
  5. 5. cook 20-25 min until thick and yellow.
< 30 Mins, Beans, Beginner Cook, Easy, Healthy, Iraqi, Lentils, Low Cholesterol, Middle Eastern

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