Shorbat Adas (Middle Eastern Lentil Soup)

Shorbat Adas is a Middle Eastern lentil soup. In fact, this warm soup is probably the most popular soup of the Middle East. It’s made of just a few ingredients and therefore easy and quick to prepare. It’s a very common soup recipe during Ramadan and other occasions.

Let me show you how to prepare Shorbat Addas the Middle Eastern way.

Lentil soup

What is Shorbat Adas?

Shorbat Adas is a Middle Eastern lentil soup. It’s by far the most popular soup in the Middle East. Shorbat Adas is particularly popular during the fasting month Ramadan. Additionally, it makes a great starter for any meal and is a warming soup during colder months.

The best part about Shorbat Addas is that it’s very quick and easy to prepare. Besides, Arabic lentil soup is extremely versatile. Every region and every family has their own twist. Shorbat Adas can be anything from light and refreshing to thick and filling.


  • Red lentils: Lentils are the key ingredients for your Shorbat Adas. You’ll need red split lentils which are among the most commonly used legumes in the Middle East. What’s special about red lentils is that they are fast cooking (besides, no soaking required). They have an orange-redish color and will turn yellow during cooking. Depending on your country and brand, you’ll find them labeled as red lentils, red split lentils or masoor dal (Indian brands).
  • Onions: Onions are the foundation of most Middle Eastern soups. Yellow onions are the preferred choice.
  • Carrots: Carrots are one of the key ingredients which make this soup so delicious. The carrots will cook together with the lentils.
  • Ginger: Ginger gives this soup its distinctive taste. It pairs extremely well with lentils and carrots. Fresh ginger yields the best result. If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can add ginger paste or powder.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves. These will be crushed together with the ginger. If you don’t have garlic cloves available, you can substitute by paste or powder.
  • Seasonings: Coriander powder, cumin powder, curcuma powder, salt and a pinch of pepper are all you need.
  • Bouillon / stock cube: In the Middle East, most people use bouillon / stock cubes (instead of broth). They will be dissolved in water and make a flavorful broth. Chicken bouillon cubes are the preferred choice, vegetable bouillon cubes work as well.
  • Olive oil: Last but not least, you need a quality olive oil. The ingredients are initially sautéed in the oil which greatly adds to the flavor of this dish.
  • Water: Depending on your liking, you need to add more or less water to your soup. More water means a thinner consistency, less water means a thicker soup.

Note: The exact quantities (according to the amount of servings) can be found in the recipe card at the end of this recipe.

Lentil soup recipe shorbat addas

How to Make Shorbat Adas

Ready to make Middle Eastern lentil soup? Let’s get started!

Step 1: Prepare the vegetables

The first step is to prepare the vegetables. Peel the onion and finely chop it. Peel the garlic cloves. Grind or finely chop the ginger and garlic. Dice the carrots. Depending on your preference and the quality of the vegetables, you can use peeled or unpeeled vegetables for your soup.

Step 2: Wash lentils

Place the lentils in a large bowl, fill up with water and wash to remove any debris. Drain and set aside. Soaking is not required.

Step 3: Sauté onions, garlic and ginger

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Once the oil is heated, add the chopped onions and the grinded/chopped garlic and ginger to the oil. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is translucent. This will take 3-4 minutes.

Step 4: Add carrots

Add the diced carrots to the saucepan. Stir well to combine with the onions. Fry for about 5 minutes on medium heat (no water and no lentils yet).

Step 5: Add lentils and seasonings

Add the lentils to the saucepan. Add the powdered seasonings (coriander, cumin, curcuma, salt and pepper). Stir well to combine. Fry for another 2-3 minutes on medium heat (no water yet). The idea is to allow the flavors of the seasonings to combine with the lentils and vegetables.

Step 6: Add water

Now it’s time to add the water. Dissolve the broth cube in hot water. Then, add to the saucepan.

The amount of water is up to you! You can add more water than suggested if you’d like your soup to be more watery, or less water for a thicker soup. I recommend that you start with the suggested amounts. If you find your soup too thick, you can always make it thinner at a later stage.

Step 7: Simmer

Once the water is boiling, reduce the stove to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Step 8: Blend

Turn off the stove. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency. You can blend it halfway or fully, depending on your liking. I usually blend it all the way through to make it creamy. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can also blend your soup in a smoothie maker. To do so, let it cook for about 10 minutes. The soup can be warm when you add it to the smoothie maker, but not piping hot. Make sure to leave some gap.

Step 9: Serve

Serve warm. You can serve your soup plain, garnish it with some chopped coriander or parsley or add fried or roasted pita chips on top. Serve some fresh lemon (some people like the soup rather plain, others prefer it to be a little bitter).

What to Serve with Shorbat Adas

Shorbat Adas is commonly served as a starter before a main course. In the Middle East, soups are particularly popular during the fasting month Ramadan. During that month, soups are usually the first thing that people eat in the evening when breaking their fast. For that occasion, I usually like to serve lentil soup plain (just serve with some lemon), for people to slurp it.

When having guests, you can garnish your lentil soup with chopped parsley/coriander. You could also top it with roasted pita bread chips. If you live outside the Middle East and don’t have pita bread at hand, you could serve it with a piece of white bread such as baguette or toast bread.

Shorbat addas recipe

Make Ahead & Storage

Shorbat Adas can be perfectly made ahead of time. If you have a large saucepan, you can easily make 12-14 portions in one go. During Ramadan, meal prep is key. You can perfectly make a larger batch of lentil soup to consume over several days.

Have leftovers? Let cool completely after cooking (lid closed). Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Warm up in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Lentil soup is also very freezer friendly. Always let cool completely before freezing. Store in airtight containers and freeze for several months. Thaw and warm up in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Any Questions or Feedback?

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Lentil soup

Shorbat Adas (Lentil Soup)

Kitty Ramasamy
Shorbat Adas is a delicious Middle Eastern lentil soup and an all-time favorite during Ramadan. Made with red lentils, carrots and a few warm spices, this easy soup is a real crowdpleaser.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine Middle Eastern, Lebanese
Servings 10 small servings
Calories 240 kcal


  • 400 g (2 cups) red split lentils
  • 1 onion yellow, medium
  • 3 carrots 3 small carrots = approx. 100 g or 3/4 US cup
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp ginger fresh
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stock cube chicken or veggie
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 2 litres (8 cups) water

For garnish:

  • Pita bread chips optional
  • Chopped parsley/coriander optional


  • Start by preparing the vegetables: Peel the onion and finely chop. Dice the carrots (peeled or unpeeled). Peel a garlic clove and the ginger. Crush with a mortar and pestle.
  • Wash the lentils in a large bowl. Remove and debris. Set aside. Soaking is not required.
  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped onion and the ginger to the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the diced carrots. Stir well to combine. Fry for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the lentils and the powdered seasonings (coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper) to the saucepan. Stir well to combine. Don’t add any water yet. Fry for 2-3 minutes (still on medium heat) to allow the flavors to mix.
  • Dissolve the broth cube in hot water. Then add to the saucepan. Stir. Bring to a boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, close the lid, reduce the stove to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Turn off the stove. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to a smooth consistency.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley/coriander. Serve with fried/roasted pita bread chips or bread and some cut up lemon.


  • The default quantities yield 10 small servings (perfect as a starter) or 4-5 large servings (good as a light meal).
  • You’ll need red split lentils for this recipe. Depending on your country and brand, they can be labeled as red lentils, red split lentils or masoor dal. Red lentils have an orange-reddish color but will change to yellow when cooked. They cook particularly fast. No soaking required.
  • Fresh ginger is preferred. Peel the ginger and grind or finely chop it. If you don’t have fresh ginger, use ginger paste or powder instead.
  • Most people use bouillon cubes (stock cubes) for their soup. This will be dissolved in hot water and make a delicious broth. Both chicken or vegetable bouillon are fine. If you have homemade broth available, you could use that instead.
  • The consistency is entirely up to you. You can add more water for a thinner consistency, or less water if you’d like your soup to be thicker.


Calories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 12gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0.04mgSodium: 355mgPotassium: 658mgFiber: 14gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 3079IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is only a rough estimate and may vary depending on factors such as the cooking method, exact weight, type, and brand of ingredients used.

Keyword Shorbat Addas, Shorbat Adas, Lentil Soup
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