Arabic Lentil Soup

>Minoo resumed the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen with 3 recipes.  The first recipe is a lentil soup.  Lentil or daal belongs to the legume family.  Lentil is high in protein and is an important part of the diet for India which has a large population of vegetarians.  Lentils come in many variety with colors ranges from yelllow to orange to green, brown and black.

Regional seasonings can change the character of lentil soup. Minoo made the …

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Arabic Lentil Soup:

    • add 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

Other regional variations are:

North African Lentil Soup:

  • add 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads or powder with onion and 1 x 8-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed with broth.

Persian Lentil Soup:

  • add 2 tablespoons orange juice or 2 teaspoons grated orange peel or lemon peel just before serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 can lentils
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 small turnip or parsnip, if desired, peeled and diced
  • 8 cups beef broth (2 quarts) or vegetable broth
  • 2 parsley sprigs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar

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This recipe serves 6.

Instructions

Arabic-Lentil-Soup-2-300x200Peel, chop, slice and dice the vegetables.

Rinse the lentils several times if you use can lentil.  Minoo soaked had some left over cooked organic lentils from a previous kitchen which she used for this recipe.  Set aside to drain.

Arabic-Lentil-Soup-20-200x300Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Add onions and garlic.  Saute until onions are tender.
Arabic-Lentil-Soup-5-300x200Add carrots and celery.  Add turnip or parsnip, if desired.  Cook for 10 minutes over low heat.

Add seasonings and herbs.

Arabic-Lentil-Soup-6-300x200Add beef broth.
Arabic-Lentil-Soup-8Add drained lentils and sprigs of parsley.

Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover.  Simmer over low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until lentils are tender and broth is slightly thickened.  Remove parsley sprigs and discard.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add lemon juice or vinegar just before serving.

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  1. You can easily use dried lentils in a soup which is simmering for at least a half an hour as this is. In a demonstration, using canned lentils is understandable because you want to serve it more quickly!

    Lentils are not like other beans. They cook quickly and do not require soaking. You can get a one pound bag of dry lentils for eighty cents, which has maybe two cups of dry lentils in it — about half a cup would make the amount of lentils in one can.

    If you avoid the can, it’s better for a lot of reasons. Uses less shipping (it’s lighter) so it is better for the environment, plus you don’t have the metal can to manufacture or recycle. Vitamins are higher if you cook them yourself. It is a LOT cheaper. If you start making large quantities of soup to freeze ahead, you’ll see the saving right away.

    Here are some odd things about lentils you probably did not know: Many lentils are grown in eastern Washington State, in an area known as the Palouse. There is a Lentil Festival every summer in Pullman complete with parade, lentil mascot (Tase T Lentil) and princesses on floats. In the area, endangered species protection is being sought for a species of earthworm which is 3 ft. long and smells of lilies when handled. http://www.palouseprairie.org/invertebrates/palouseworm.html

    Inspired by you, I made some lentil soup!

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