What’s more comforting on a chilly day than a cup of soup? Try our twist on a traditional Lebanese recipe.
When fresh vegetables are scarce in remote areas of the Middle East, people rely on dried pulses stored for the winter in ceramic jars or burlap bags. Onions harvested in summer add piquancy. Samneh, clarified butter flavored with fenugreek, gives flavor and texture. Our creamy eggplant soup is a delicious way to take the chill off a winter evening, but try this soup from the Lebanese mountains too. We’ve added fresh ingredients to the basic Lebanese village recipe, with the option of substituting olive oil for samneh. And many people enjoy a dollop of labneh, a creamy yoghurt-based cheese, on top of each serving.
Lentil and Vegetable Soup
3 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup raw, rinsed rice
1/4 cup olive oil or samneh
1 cup chopped onions
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 small bunch fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen
1 1/2 tsp. salt
8 cups – 2 liters – water
- Cook the lentils in the water, with the bay leaf. When they are soft, add rice and the salt and cook another 15 minutes.
- Blend the lentils and rice to obtain a thick, smooth soup, if you like. Return the soup to the pot.
- Saute the onions, carrot, tomato and spinach in the olive oil. When the vegetables have cooked through and a thin sauce forms, add them to the soup pot.
- Cook another 10 minutes for the flavors to blend. Taste for salt; add pepper to taste.
Serve with one of our sandwiches, and enjoy!
More delicious Middle-Eastern recipes from Green Prophet:
Photo of Lebanese lentil soup by bobjudge via Flickr.
Miriam Kresh writes a food blog, www.israelikitchen.com