Armenian Lentil Soup with Macaroni

September 27, 2012 (Last Updated: March 24, 2020)
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To the fabulous readers of Mission: Food… I’m leaving on a jet plane. I will be on vacation for the next 3 weeks visiting the beautiful country of Armenia, where both of my parents were born and raised. I traveled there for the first time 3 years ago and it simply took my breath away. I can’t wait for another adventure exploring the traditions of my ancestors. When I return, I definitely plan on sharing my experiences with you all, so I hope you’re looking forward to it!

During my time away, I have arranged for a few of my amazing blogger friends to fill in for me. I’ve tasked them each with the theme of “travel” to inspire their posts. I hope you enjoy the first ever series of guest posts on Mission: Food! I’m really excited to share them with you all 🙂

As my sendoff, I’m sharing an Armenian soup recipe that is a favorite of my family’s. It’s easy to make and very satisfying. Featuring hearty lentils, macaroni, and lots of flavor from garlic, lemon juice, and cumin, it’s sure to satisfy the soup-lovers in your family as well. And with that, I shall bid you adieu until my return 😀

armenian lentil soup with macaroni

Armenian Lentil Soup with Macaroni

This simple and hearty lentil soup with macaroni is lemony and garlicky with a generous amount of cumin!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Armenian
Servings 6 to 8 servings
Calories 288 kcal


  • 3/4 cup small macaroni such as ditalini, small shells, or stars (pastina)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups lentils
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water (if making vegetarian soup, omit chicken broth and use 8 cups water instead)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and hot red pepper such as cayenne


  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until almost al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened. Then add the lentils, broth, and water, cover and bring the mixture to a boil. When the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta, tomato paste, garlic, lemon juice, and cumin. Season with salt and hot pepper (just a pinch or two). Serve hot.

Notes & Nutrition

You may be tempted to just boil the pasta directly in the soup, but doing so will absorb much of the liquid and leave the soup incredibly thick. Leftover soup may thicken up as well, as the residual liquid absorbs into the pasta, but feel free to thin it out with a little water or chicken broth when you heat it back up.
Servings 6.0 * calories 288 * Total Fat 6 g * Saturated Fat 1 g * Monounsaturated Fat 2 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 7 mg * Sodium 281 mg * Potassium 340 mg * Total Carbohydrate 41 g * Dietary Fiber 7 g * Sugars 3 g * Protein 13 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*

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