Syrian Lentil Soup

A hearty lentil soup also known as Addes.

In Syria, lentils play a large role in basic cooking. They are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and a good source of nutrition. It is a legend that the Jews in Sinai were given lentils by Moses to help them endure their long exodus from Egypt. Addes is a thick, golden soup spiced with garlic and cumin and served with fresh lemon wedges. It’s hearty, like pea soup, and will provide just the right source of energy to get you through a cold winter’s day.

Note: You can store this soup in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or the freezer for 1 month.

©2020 Jennifer Abadi; Reprinted with permission from “A Fistful of Lentils,” by Jennifer Abadi


For Soup:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 to 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2½ cups dried split red lentils
  • 2½ quarts cold water (10 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached flour dissolved in ¼ cold water

For Serving:

  • 1 lemon, cut into eighths (about 1 small wedge per serving)


  1. Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan or pot for 30 seconds over a medium-high heat. Mix in the chopped garlic, cumin, coriander, and salt and cook until the garlic become a brownish-yellow paste, about 30 seconds. (Make sure not to cook the garlic over high heat; it burns easily.)
  2. Add the lentils and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in the dissolved flour mixture, mix well, and continue to cook partially covered for 10 minutes.
  4. Adjust the taste for salt and continue to simmer until the soup becomes fairly thick, like pea soup, an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with a small wedge of lemon squeezed and dropped into each individual serving.
  6. Soup may be stored in refrigerator up to 3 days. When ready to reheat you may need to add a little water and adjust seasonings as soup will thicken and absorb flavors over time.

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