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Spinach and Lemon Lentil Soup

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  • Author: Cosette's Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Lebanese


A bright and light soup that is packed with protein from lentils, hearty spinach and a lemony zest from fresh lemon and sumac spice. A weeknight favorite dish!


Units Scale
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 carrots, diced - about 2 cups
  • 1 large onion, diced - about 3 cups
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt - half the amount of table salt, additional to taste*
  • 1 can diced tomatoes - 28 ounces
  • 1 cup brown lentils - see notes for other varieties of lentils*
  • 12 cups of low sodium broth or broth and water combination, divided*
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 16 ounces frozen spinach - see notes for using fresh spinach*
  • Zest of 3 lemon + juice for serving


  1. In a heavy bottomed large stock pot or dutch oven (5-6 quart size) heat 3 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat and add your diced carrots and onions. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, this will allow the onions to sweat and soften. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until slightly softened.
    • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 8 carrots, diced - about 2 cups
    • 1 large onion, diced - about 3 cups
  2. Next, add your minced garlic and heat until fragrant about 2 minutes. Then add your sumac, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine then add your canned diced tomatoes and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
    • 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
    • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt - half the amount of table salt, additional to taste
  3. Add your lentils and 8 cups of broth, turn your heat up to high and allow to come to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes.
    • 1 cup brown lentils - see notes for other varieties of lentils
    • 8 cups of broth
  4. After 10 minutes cook time, add in 4 more cups of broth, your orzo, spinach and lemon zest. Stir to combine and allow to cook for another 10-15 minutes on medium-low until lentils and orzo are soft.
    • 1 cup orzo pasta
    • remaining 4 cups of broth
    • 16 ounces frozen spinach - see notes for using fresh spinach*
    • Zest of 3 lemon
  5. I like to then shut the heat off, put lid on and allow the soup to mellow for another 30minutes-1 hour. Season accordingly with additional salt and squeeze fresh lemon when serving.
    •  fresh squeezed lemon juice for serving


  • Salt - I always use kosher salt in my cooking, specifically Diamond brand which is LESS salty than Morton Kosher salt and all kosher salt is less salty than standard table salt. If using another brand or type of salt, adjust accordingly. Rule of thumb is usually HALF the amount of table salt and 1/4 the amount of Morton Kosher salt. I always test along the way, start with less and add more as needed. Broths will also vary in salt levels.
  • Lentils - Brown lentils are preferred in this recipe, you can sub green lentils but they will take a little longer to cook. If using green lentils, allow lentils to simmer for 20 minutes instead of 10 before adding orzo pasta. Please see blog post for more details about types of lentils.
  • Broth - You can use a variety of broth for this soup, I always go with a low-sodium variety if using store bought. Use chicken or vegetable. You can also sub 4-6 cups with water if you'd like, salt will need to be adjusted for flavor. You can use bouillon cubes to help boost flavor as well.
  • Spinach - If using fresh spinach, use 1.5 pounds (or 24 ounces), chop and add to tomato mixture to cook well before adding broth.