Lentil Soup

It’s finally “winter” in Dubai, or as close as it gets to winter:

Going to the beach is now reserved for tanning or for my toes to playfully flirt with the waves brushing up against the shore.

Walking is actually an option for a means of getting from point A to B and even to C.

The sky is blue.

A reservation at a restaurant with outdoor seating is as hard to get as a flight to Beirut on the 24th of December.

And finally, my wantingness (I know that’s not a word) for any form of soup catapults to unbelievable heights.

 

There are generally two types of soups in this world, the light, clear based soups and the thick chunkier ones. I love both equally as if they were my children, but desire either type at different times.

One of…. actually let’s back track on that one, the most underrated soup, in the Lebanese cuisine, is lentil soup.

I can’t begin to explain the nutritional value of lentils – they are low in fats and high in proteins and fibers.

And strangely enough, contrary to the whole taste vs. nutrition pendulum, are heavenly to eat!

Lentil soup is creamy, full of texture and has an underlying sweet and smoky flavor.

Traditionally, after the soup is cooked it should be run through a food mill to make it extra smooth – I usually skip this step to keep the texture more rustic.

To give the soup a slight twist, I introduce chunks of carrots and sweet potatoes to it. This gives each bite a different taste and breaks any form of monotony with regards to taste.

When it comes to veggies in my soup I like em big n I like em chunky!

To play off the light smokiness of the lentils, I roast some carrots and sweet potato in the oven to be used as croton like toppings. (While roasting I add onions to the veggies to heighten their richness but take them out for serving)

Add a cool splash of fresh lemon juice before eating and enjoy a bowl of hearty, warm, chunky, creamy, healthy goodness.

THE RECIPE

Ingredients:

-       1 cup lentils

-       1 onion

-       2 carrot

-       1 sweet potato

-       3 teaspoon Salt

-       2 teaspoon white pepper

-       1 table spoon on vegetable oil

-       4 cups Water

-       A drizzle of olive oil

-       A drizzle of lemon

The Soup

Wash and soak the lentils for ten minutes.

Dice the onions.

Peel and chop the carrots and sweet potato into bite sizes.

Add the vegetable oil, onions and 2 teaspoons of salt in a deep pot and sauté until the onions are translucent.

(Keep a handful of onions on the side to be used for the crotons)

Add half the carrots and sweet potato and the full amount of white pepper to the onions and sauté for 3 minutes.

(The other half of the carrots and sweet potato will be used for the crotons)

Add the 4 cups of water to the vegetables and bring to a boil.

Strain the lentils and add them to the boiling water and veggies.

Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes.

Stir the mixture occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.

Have a taste test and add salt according to your liking.

Serve hot and drizzle some lemon and paprika on top.

The Crotons

Take the remaining onions, carrots and sweet potato and lay them out on a sheet pan.

Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the vegetables.

Bake in the oven until roasted, about 30 minutes.

I prefer to serve the carrots and the sweet potato as crotons leaving behind the onions.

Sahtain!

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    1. Gisele Tillis

      Lentils are also commonly used in Ethiopia in a stew-like dish called kik, or kik wot, one of the dishes people eat with Ethiopia’s national food, injera flat bread. Yellow lentils are used to make a nonspicy stew, which is one of the first solid foods Ethiopian women feed their babies.`.-’

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