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arabic lentil soup

Arabic Lentil Soup (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

This super easy lentil soup recipe will have you slurping it for weeks. Its creamy, perfectly spiced, and super addictive. All in your instant pot!
Course Soup
Cuisine middle eastern
Keyword Instant Pot, Lentil Soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 -10 bowls


  • 3 onions
  • 2 small potatoes
  • 3.5 cups red split lentils
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon salt plus more per preference
  • 2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper more or less per preference
  • 13 cups water approximately 3 liters
  • Lemon juice optional
  • Crunchy pita chips optional


  • Start by peeling and chopping the onions and potatoes into large chunks. If you don't want to blend the soup at the end, then dice them into smaller cubes
  • In the Instant Pot (I used 8Qt for this size - see notes), add the vegetable oil, potatoes, onions, and spices and cook for 5 minutes on saute mode. If using stove top, use a regular soup pot
  • Add the lentils and water, mix well ensuring you scrape the bottom of the pot, and secure the instant pot lid. If using stove top, cover the pot
  • If using Instant Pot, pressure cook for 15 minutes. The Instant Pot will take approximately 10-15 minutes to come to pressure
  • If using stove top, allow it to boil for 40-60 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Adjust the liquid and salt half way through
  • For the Instant Pot, manually release the pressure valve and blend the soup using a hand mixer
  • For the stove top, you can leave it chunky or blend it as well
  • Taste and adjust the salt and also the water. If you like it thinner, add more water and allow it to cook for a few more minutes on saute mode
  • If you're making the crunchy pita topping, simply cut pita bread into small squares and fry on medium heat using 3-4 tablespoons of oil. Continue stirring until golden and crunchy
  • Serve with a squeeze of lemon and crunchy pita on top


  • If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can follow the directions and cook on the stove top instead of pressure cooking. Cook time will be closer to 40-60 minutes.
  • I used an 8 Qt instant pot for this batch size. You can halve the recipe and use a 6 Qt instant pot
  • You can skip adding the potatoes if you don't have any (but don't skip the onion!)
  • You can also add carrots to this soup, the same way the potatoes and onions are added
  • Adjust the thickness of the soup at the end by adding more water for a thinner soup or allow it to boil for a thicker soup. This recipe yields a thick consistency