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MIDDLE EAST MONDAY: LEMONY LENTIL SOUP

MIDDLE EAST MONDAY: LEMONY LENTIL SOUP
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I rediscovered this soup a few years back during an anatomy + physiology class. During our lunch break I took myself off to a cafe for a feed and I almost tripped over when I saw “Lebanese Lentil Soup” written on the chalk-board. I got a little excited. I crossed my fingers  hoping it’d be the soup I knew all to well from my childhood.

Bingo. I couldn’t get over. It tasted just like home. And since that day I have made this soup all through Autumn and Winter. I have even shared the recipe with my friends because it’s that easy and delicious.

What could be more Middle Eastern than lentils, lemons, spinach, cumin and garlic!

Before I share this with you I want give you a little tip to prevent bloating or gas from the lentils.  For all you IBS sufferers who probably avoid lentils for that very reason, listen up! This is my mother’s trick and it works.

  1. Presoak your lentils – the longer the better. If you soak them in the morning and then cook at night, that’ll do the trick
  2. Next, thoroughly rinse in cold water
  3. Finally, in a seperate pot bring the lentils to a boil for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Drain, rinse and then use the lentils in your recipe.
Now, I share it with you.
What you’ll need
  • 1 cup brown/green lentils – soaked overnight
  • 3-4 medium sized potatoes – washed, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 2-3 cups chopped spinach/silverbeet
  • 1 cup coriander
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves – diced
  • 2 brown onions – diced
  • Cultured butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 1 heaped tsp of Cumin + All spice
  • 1 litre homemade veggie stock (I use left over peelings, cuttings from veggies and boil up – then freeze into cubes or bottles for later use)
What to do:
  • In the butter and olive oil sweat off the onion, add the garlic, a dash of cumin, salt and pepper.
  • Throw in the lentils and coat in the olive oil.
  • Add the veggie stock and potatoes, simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart.
  • Turn off the heat, let it cool for 2-3 minutes
  • Throw in the spinach and coriander, allow to wilt.
  • Sprinkle in more cumin, salt + pepper to taste.
  • Pour in lemon juice
  • Serve with an additional garnish of coriander and a slice of delicious gluten-free bread (I’m enjoying buckwheat bread at the moment).
You can blend this all up if you prefer a thicker consistency but the broth contrasted against the potatoes and the zing of the lemon is perfect.

Seriously, every single time I eat this I can’t help but (uncontrollably) let out a big sigh and close my eyes with the first mouthful. It’s just so soothing.

Saha to you.

Cx

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