Maureen Abood’s Lentil Bulgur Soup with Mint Olive Oil


This original recipe was posted on January 15, 2021 by Maureen Abood at her popular Middle Eastern food blog:

Maureen Abood is a second-generation Lebanese American, and an expert in Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine. She publishes recipes at her award-winning website,, and cookbook, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen. Discover outstanding ingredients, kits, skills, and tools to make home cooking even more appealing and enjoyable at

Maureen’s childhood and upbringing as a Lebanese-American in Michigan inspired her to launch her website and online shop, and write her cookbook. Her work explores her heritage through its most-beloved foods. Her creative culinary guides, from grandparents to parents, cousins, and aunts, come alive in her stories.

A long-time writer and cook, her work has been published extensively, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Saveur, and the Huffington Post. She furthered her passion for food at Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco, from which she graduated in 2010. Taking an ingredient-focused approach that makes the most of every season’s bounty, Maureen presents more than 100 irresistible recipes in her cookbook that will delight readers with their evocative flavors: Spiced Lamb Kofta Burgers, Avocado Tabbouleh in Little Gems, and Pomegranate Rose Sorbet. Throughout the cookbook there are the touching stories of Maureen’s Lebanese-American upbringing, the path that led her to culinary school and to launch her blog, and life in Harbor Springs, her lakeside Michigan town.

Maureen is a major proponent of the Mediterranean Diet, working a component of it into every meal or snack of the day. The Mediterranean Diet blends the basics of healthy eating with the traditional flavors and cooking methods of the Mediterranean featured in Lebanon, Greece, Italy and other cultures along Mediterranean Sea. “After all, this is the healthiest of ways to eat and live,” says Maureen. This appetizing vegetarian/vegan soup is tops on the healthy-delicious list for including grains, legumes, herbs and olive oil. Maureen says her recipe was inspired by a recipe that was originally featured in the Washington Post. She suggests serving this soup as a main course with a tossed salad and garlic toast or pita chips. This soup is also great as a starter or a sustaining lunch mid-day.

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For the soup:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste

1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons minced garlic (from about 5 cloves)

2 teaspoons paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 cups diced tomato (fresh or from a 14-15 oz can)

1/2 cup coarse bulgur, #3 grade

1/2 cup red lentils, sorted, rinsed and drained

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

3 cups water

Juice of 1 lemon

Several grinds black pepper


For the mint oil:


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons Garlic Mint Salt, or crushed dried mint

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic, minced


Preparation for the soup:

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the onion and salt, cooking until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne and tomato paste. Cook for about a minute to release the aroma and flavor. Add the diced tomatoes, increase the heat and bring to a boil for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the bulgur, lentils, bulgur, broth, water, and bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the lentils and bulgur are cooked through but not mushy. Stir in the lemon juice and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.


For the mint oil:

Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over low heat. Add the garlic and cook just until aromatic, about 1 minute. Stir in the mint salt and cayenne. Remove from the heat. Serve the soup with a generous drizzle of mint oil on top.


Serves 6.

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Rose Water & Orange Blossoms Cookbook, Signed $30.00

Maureen Abood’s acclaimed Lebanese cookbook, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms, is a treasure trove of “Fresh and Classic Lebanese Recipes,” and the reviews have been superb across the country, including in the New York Times. Beautifully written and photographed, with great tips to help you cook and enjoy Lebanese cuisine, this book makes a special gift any time of year.

“Not nearly well known enough in this country, the rich and fragrant Lebanese cuisine finally gets this worthy representation both in the range of dishes presented and the gorgeous, mouth-watering illustrations of them.” – Mimi Sheraton, longtime food critic of the New York Times and author of 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die

“A terrific and important book!” – Anthony Bourdain, host of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and author of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

“Maureen is a special kind of cookbook author – insightful, mindful of tradition, always appreciative. Rose Water and Orange Blossoms celebrates life, family, beautiful recipes, and Lebanese (culinary) food ways. She uniquely uses charm, experience, warmth, and evocative storytelling to invite us into the seductive realm of her Lebanese table – rose water, orange blossom, pomegranate, sumac, dates, and all.” – Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day

To order a signed copy of Rose Water & Orange Blossoms Cookbook, go to:



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