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Palestinian Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup with Lemons and Pomegranates

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Hearty soups or simple stews like this soup of Swiss chard and lentils are a staple in most Palestinians and Arab homes in the winter months. Nothing like coming in from the cold to a big pot of simmering heartwarming soup. This soup is so hearty and loaded with goodness it’s often served as a whole meal with a big hunk of pita bread and the palestinian essentials of green onions, olives and radishes. Even my meat loving dad would have a few bowls of this soup and mop his plate with a pita wedge.

This soup is a nutritional powerhouse it provides loads of vitamins A, C, E and K, from the Swiss chard. And the fiber, folic acid, and potassium in lentils all support heart health. This is my kind of good food that nourishes the soul.

Lentil soup with Swiss chard and lemons

Serves 6-8


2 cups medium brown lentils picked over, washed and drained

2 large golden potatoes diced

1 bunch green Swiss chard (about a pound) washed well, stems removed and set aside.

12 cups of water or chicken stock (more if soup gets too thick)

3 garlic cloves smashed

1 large onion diced

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or juice of one large lemon plus more wedges to serve on the side

3 tbls olive oil plus more to drizzle on the top

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tbls of pomegranate molasses

A pinch of Red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves washed and chopped

Garnishes: Pomegranate seeds, cilantro leaves, crispy onions


Heat olive oil in a heavy pot, add the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent about 5 minutes.

Add the rinsed lentils, add the spices and toss to combine about 2 minutes.

Add the water and bay leaves. Let it come to a boil, and then add the potatoes and the diced Swiss chard stalks only.

Let the soup simmer until the lentils and potatoes are cooked through (but not mushy). Add the Swiss chard, one handful at a time until it’s all incorporated. Add the pomegranate molasses. Let it simmer for 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat then add the cilantro and fresh lemon juice.

Enjoy with extra squeeze of lemon and a nice drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

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