Monday, December 28, 2009

Middle Eastern lentil soup



Lentils play a huge role in my cooking. They are the old faithfuls in the pantry and provide a dependable go to especially when I am out of fresh veggies. Of all the lentils I really like the quick cooking brown and reds which don't need much soaking and cook to perfection in a pressure cooker in 15 mins. This is exactly what I did for this Middle Eastern inspired lentil soup.

The inspiration for this soup comes from one of my favourite lunch places, Neomonde Deli and Bakery. If you like Mediterranean food, I think you will really like this place. They have a great selection of delicious hot and cold dishes along with fresh baked pita bread which they make themselves. I am kind of a boring eater when it comes to places I really like, which means I get the same thing every single time I go there. So here I always get the rice, eggplant stew, tzatziki and fruit salad. The person behind the counter might as well start putting these items together in a plate when they see me walk in. But recently Neomonde introduced a lentil soup which I absolutely fell in love with so now I have a tough time about which one of my regular selections I can substitute it with.

A Syrian friend of mine who also makes an equally good lentil soup hinted it has lemon, garlic and cumin powder as the main flavors, so I kind of ran with those. Here is my take on this soup, which will be my fourth entry for the Recipe Marathon on One Hot Stove.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup brown lentils
1/2 cup red lentils
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small carrots, diced
1 tomato, chopped
1 and 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
juice of half a lemon

- Wash the lentils together and soak in water till ready to use.
- In a pressure cooker, heat a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Add onions and garlic and saute for 3-4 mins.
- Add the diced carrots and salt and saute for another 2-3 mins.
- Add the tomatoes, paprika and cumin and mix well.
- After the tomatoes soften, add the lentils along with enough water to cover them.
- Put the pressure cooker lid on and cook for 10 mins or till lentils are completely cooked through.
- Blend half the soup and mix in with the rest.
- Serve hot with a liberal amount of lemon juice and some toasted pita bread.

Makes 4 servings.


15 comments:

  1. Same pinch- I made lentil soup too :)

    Your pictures are just gorgeous, I love the clean and minimalist look of your blog.

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  2. lovely recipe Radhika! i am guessing the taste will be similar to dal makhni...sounds very healthy!

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  3. Pics is just amazing, i too like to cook with saml lentils..

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  4. Your soup looks great. I used to live near a Lebanese couple -- they made the most amazing dishes. I don't remember cumin but lemon and garlic, yes. Thanks for stirring up those memories :)

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  5. yummy soup will this try soon,..

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  6. Lentil soup looks so delicious & Comforting. I'm sure my son's going to love this.

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  7. woo hoo!!! sounds and looks delicious and i was in need of a lovely soup for this wintery new england day!! can't wait to make it!!
    thanks for sharing.

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  8. Soup would be so good on a cold, cold day
    like it is here today.I love adding lime juice instead of tomatoes for acidity.Makes the colors and flavours pop.

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  9. Thanks everyone! Let me know how it turns out :)

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  10. Soups are such are a blessing during these winter days! Gorgeous click!

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  11. When a soup looks as gorgeous as this one does, there is only one thing possible. To clean up the bowl.

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  12. Mona, indosungod, thanks! I love soups especially in winter.

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  13. ooo i am always looking for new ways to make lentil soup. This looks excellent!

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  14. Recipe sounds yummy!

    any names for the brown lentil ? will kala channa work?

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  15. Hi Pavi, I have always used a combination of red and black masur which I have found works quite well.

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