Egyptian Lentil Soup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Welcome to Claire's: 35 Years of Recipes and Reflections from the Landmark Vegetarian Restaurant

Welcome to Claire's

By Claire Criscuolo

Published 2014

  • About

One of the best parts of our location across from a world-class university is that we are blessed with customers and staff from so many countries. They share their recipes, which gives us a peek into their traditions, and we love this. This flavorful soup is a perfectly delicious example.


  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound lentils, sorted for stones
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large yellow onions, cut in half, then sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Sea salt and pepper


  1. Place the water, bay leaves, and garlic in a heavy pot over high heat; cover and bring to a boil. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook the lentils at a medium boil, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the lentils are tender. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and stir to coat with the oil. Cover and cook, for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions are tender and golden.
  2. Stir in the coriander, cinnamon, and a little salt and pepper. Cover and continue cooking for a minute, stirring once or twice to prevent sticking. Turn the onions and any juices into the lentils, using a rubber spatula to scrape the juices from the skillet. Stir well to combine. Cover and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until the lentils are soft-tender. Taste for seasoning.

Claire, you taught people so much on how to eat. You have helped shaped people’s lives.”

Jennifer Hughes, a longtime, favorite customer