Red Lentil Soup (Priest’s Soup)/Ոսպով ապուր

Photo: Siroon Parseghian

Winter is still in full force in Canada, so Red Lentil Soup has been in regular rotation in my kitchen!

This soup, sometimes referred to as Priest’s Soup, is proof that there is beauty (and flavour) in simplicity. The use of a couple of standard ingredients results in a comforting, creamy, filling, nutritious, and delicious soup, perfect to warm up your tastebuds with!

Make sure to try this recipe so you can understand the wide appeal (and celebrity status) of Red Lentil Soup in almost every Armenian household.


  • 3 cups red lentils
  • 1⁄4 cup short-grain white rice (or less)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 7 & 1⁄2 to 8 & 1⁄2 cups water
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cumin, paprika, or hot red pepper, to taste
  • 1⁄3 to 1⁄4 cup chopped parsley
  • Few squeezes of lemon


  • Sort and rinse the lentils, removing any stones or other debris. The water should go from murky to completely clear. Lentils not cleaned well will affect the taste of the soup, so make sure to rinse them thoroughly! Set aside.
  • Finely chop the onion. Alternatively, peel it and add it to the soup whole when cooking the rice. 
  • Add the chopped onion to a pot on medium heat, add 1⁄2 cup of water, and cover until the water has been absorbed. 
  • Add the olive oil and fry the onions, making sure they do not brown. 
  • Add the rice and stir, adding 3 cups of hot water. Cook the rice completely, approximately 15 minutes. 
  • Once the rice has cooked, add the rinsed lentils and 3 cups of hot water. Add the salt and lower the heat. 
  • As the lentils cook, add 1 to 2 more cups of hot water. Continue to cook on low heat until the lentils are completely cooked. 
  • Add more salt if desired, and either add the spices and parsley now or top individual bowls with them. Squeeze in a generous amount of lemon juice before enjoying.

*Tip: If the leftover soup thickens too much in the fridge, simply add more hot water to thin it out when warming. For more recipes using red lentils, make sure to try Red Lentil Patties!

Learn more about The Vegan Armenian Kitchen Cookbook here!

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