Rishta is a Lebanese lentils and pasta soup that is simple yet huge on flavor. Made with golden onions that have been simmered with brown lentils and pasta in broth with hints of parsley. Naturally vegan and can be made gluten free.
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😋Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Deliciously filling and comforting. You will be reaching for seconds.
- Inexpensive ingredients
- Quick and easy, makes a great weeknight meal
- Drastically reduced the amount of oil used - can be made oil free too.
- Dietary friendly - vegan, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free
What is Rishta?
Rishta is a dish from the Middle East that can be found in Lebanon or Syria and is also known as Rishtaya or Rishtayeh or macarona bi adas.
It is an easy and simple meal of lentils and pasta which is inexpensive.
Traditionally the pasta was home made but any type of pasta can be used. It is very popular with pappardelle.
This rishta recipe is vegan friendly. I have also used gluten free pasta in these photos.
🥣Ingredients You’ll Need
Notes on some of the ingredients, the full list of ingredients and their measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Brown lentils are the main flavoring of this dish. I prefer to use dry lentils, which are soaked prior to using. However if you are short on time, you can use canned lentils. Be sure to wash and rinse prior to using.
Brown onion should be diced which will be sweated in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. If you are on an oil-free diet, replace it with water.
Pasta is the other main component of this rishta recipe. Traditionally, handmade pasta is used, nowadays, store bought pappardelle is commonly used. For the sake of my diet, I will be using a similar vegan and gluten free tagliatelle.
Fresh parsley leaves are finely chopped and scattered through to complement the lentils.
Paprika, salt and pepper are added to taste.
🍝 How to Make Lentils and Pasta Soup
Step 1 - Sort and wash lentils (get rid of any unwanted debris) then soak in double the amount of hot water for at least 30 minutes. Do this whilst preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Step 2 - Over high heat, in a non-stick pot, add olive oil and onion and fry until golden. Drain lentils and add to the onions along with the salt, pepper, paprika, half of the parsley and half of the water. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes (if using canned lentils this can be around 15 minutes) or until lentils are par-boiled. See notes in the recipe card below.
Step 2 - Break pasta into bite sized pieces and add to the lentils along with the remaining water. Cook for another 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of parsley.
Tip - breaking the pasta into pieces is easy to handle when eating, as the pieces fit better in a spoon.
A clove of garlic can also be added, though this is not how my family makes it. This can be added once the onion is golden, just fry for 30 seconds before adding the lentils.
This rishta recipe is from my childhood, it always contained butter, which can be added at the end (use dairy free butter), this does boost the flavor further (however I am cutting down on my fats these days and don’t use it)
We love eating rishtaya with freshly cut up vegetables or salad (for a boost in fibre), it is especially lovely with taboule or quinoa taboula or raw mushroom salad.
Or sometimes we have it with a cabbage salad called malfouf salad or rocca salad (made with arugula)
Once completely cooled down to room temperature, transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 5-7 days. Reheat the required portion, either on a stovetop or in a microwave. You may need to stir through a small amount of water, as this soup will thicken considerably when cold.
If you're a fan of lentils you must try my authentic mujadara or mujadara hamra or red lentils and rice called mujadara safra.
You should also try mujadara makhbousa aka lentil porridge and my popular Lebanese lentil soup.
Otherwise, try my lemon lentil soup which features silverbeet, and this Freekeh soup is also vegan Lebanese, an ancient grain soup
For a simple yet tasty soup try my vermicelli soup.
Or try this impressively bright pink pasta using beet pasta sauce.
Check out my fellow foodie's (Lily) recipe for Koshari, this is the Egyptian version similar to this recipe.
Did you enjoy making this recipe? I would love to hear from you, leave me a comment below and give me a ★★★★★ rating. If you love sharing your vegan food pics, join the PBF community group
Easy Lentils and Pasta Soup (Rishta)
- 1¾ cup Brown lentils sorted, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained. See notes
- 350 grams Tagliatelle or similar, can be gluten free
- 1 large Onion diced
- 3 tablespoons Parsley leaves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil see notes for oil free version
- ½ teaspoon Ground paprika
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper or to taste
- 2½ teaspoon Salt or to taste
- 1 medium Lemon juiced
- 2½ cups Water for soaking lentils
- 12 cups Water 3 c to simmer lentils and 9 for soup
- Sort and wash lentils (get rid of any unwanted debris) then soak in double the amount of hot water for at least 30 minutes. Do this whilst preparing the rest of the ingredients. If using canned lentils, skip soaking. Just rinse the lentils prior to use.1¾ cup Brown lentils, 2½ cups Water
- Over high heat, in a non-stick pot, add olive oil and onion and fry until golden. Drain lentils and add to the onions along with the salt, pepper, paprika, half of the parsley and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes (if using canned lentils this can be around 15 minutes) or until lentils are par-boiled. See notes1 large Onion, 3 tablespoons Parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon Olive oil, ½ teaspoon Ground paprika, ½ teaspoon Black pepper, 2½ teaspoon Salt, 12 cups Water
- Break pasta into bite sized pieces and add to the lentils along with 9 cups of water. Cook for another 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of parsley350 grams Tagliatelle, 12 cups Water, 1 medium Lemon
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
I made this recipe with mint instead of parsley. It tasted delicious. This is my 2nd time cooking it and everyone loves it.
That would be so delish! Thank you for making my easy lentils and pasta 🙂
Hello from Michigan, this lentil dish is very delicious. Thank you