PERSIAN LENTIL SOUP

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A healthy and filling vegan lentil soup booming with Middle Eastern spices and flavors. A great soup for those days when we all need a bit of soul warming.

Most Chicagoans know about this great Persian café called “Reza’s”. Russians looove this Middle-Eastern cooking. To some extent in light of the impact of the Georgians and the Armenians. In any case, generally in view of the tasty scorch barbecued meat and fragrant basmati rice.

As far back as I can recall my family went to Reza’s. I generally had this gitty feeling when I realized we were going there. I would wander off in fantasy land about it in school and anticipate it the entire day. I realize I am extraordinary…

They have HUGE parts… HUGE! Generally everybody at our table in every case left the vast majority of the feast on their plates… with the exception of my father, my uncle and my 70 pound self… we set aside the whole dinner! My mother cautioned me each an ideal opportunity to stop… yet in my ordinary obstinate design I won’t ever tune in. Also, every time I would slump on the seat, gradually advancing under the table to lay down for a genuinely necessary rest, growning from my full belly.

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A healthy and filling vegan lentil soup booming with Middle Eastern spices and flavors. A great soup for those days when we all need a bit of soul warming.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup lentils (rinsed)
  • 8 cups vegetable stock (I used Trader Joes, which was very flavorful)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped or put through a blender or food processor) 4 garlic cloves (crushed) 1 can stewed tomatoes (15oz, crushed) 2 teaspoons salt 1 bunch of parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tsp sumac*
  • 3 tsp 7-spice
  • 1/4 cup brown basmati rice (optional, uncooked )
  • juice of 1 lemon

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add olive oil to a 5 qt pot and sautee onions and garlic together and let them sweat. You do not want any color.*
  2. Add lentils and stock to this mixture and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and continue simmering on medium low for 25 minutes•.
  3. Add tomatoes, parsley and all seasoning and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and turn down the heat and let it cook for about 25-30 minutes on medium heat, until the lentils and rice are tender. At this point, add lemon juice. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and lemon as you see fit. I like mine very lemony.
  5. Pour into a bowl and garnish with feta and chopped parsley.
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NOTES

  • It may seem like a ton of parsley, but the parsley adds a very authentic and delicious flavor to the soup.
  • I did not add in any rice as I really felt it was unnecessary. But please feel free to if you think you need it to make a complete meal.
  • I like to put the onions and garlic through the Vitamix with just a few tablespoons of water. I find this gives me a nice even soup and there are no chunks of onions in there.
  • Make sure that the lentils are tender. Depending on the lentils, sometimes this takes longer. If that is the case, just keep simmering until they are the doneness to you liking.
  • If you have never seen sumac, I recommend that you try using it in all your middle eastern recipes. It is regularly used in that region of the world. It has a tart flavor to it and was originally used in food before the Romans introduced lemons. It goes well with chicken, beef, hummus almost anything. In fact, you will usually see it sitting on tables next to the salt in pepper in most good middle eastern restaurants. 7-Spice is also very popular and frequently used. It’s a spice blend with cumin, ground coriander, paprika, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamon. It really gives that middle eastern flare to the dish.
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