Syrian Red Lentil Soup

We’ve been making this soup for about the past year.  It’s a family favorite and best of all, it’s cheap and tasty which means it’s a regular on the menu in our household.

As far as I can discern, it’s a soup with Jewish roots and has spread across the Middle East into Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Armenia and other places.  Some versions will add chickpeas, curry powder, cayenne powder, oregano, feta cheese, you name it and it’s probably been added.  This recipe is so good it’s hard to mess it up.

Tonight we are having this with Chicken Satay (BBQ Chicken on a stick) and a salad.  Maybe a weird combo but the ground cumin kind of pulls it altogether.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Syrian Red Lentil Soup

Recipe By     :Adapted from From A Fistful of Lentils, by Jennifer Felicia Abadi
Serving Size  : 6     Preparation Time :0:10
Categories    :

Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method
——–  ————  ——————————–
2               cups  red lentils
2          teaspoons  garlic — diced
1         tablespoon  olive oil
4               cups  vegetable broth — or chicken broth
4               cups  water
2          teaspoons  ground cumin
1         tablespoon  ground coriander
1               each  onion — diced
2        tablespoons  flour — mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
Lemon wedges
sour cream

Syrian red lentil soup has it’s roots in the Jewish community in Syria.  Various versions are also found in nearby countries like Lebanon and Turkey.

1. Submerge the lentils in a medium-sized bowl filled with cold water. Pick out small rocks and skim off any dirt and old shells that float to the surface.

2. Quickly fry the garlic and spices in the olive oil.
3.  Add the water/broth and lentils, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Continue to simmer until the soup becomes fairly thick, like pea soup, an additional 10 to 15 minutes.  If you want it really smooth.  Hit it with a stick blender to liquefy the cooked onions.
4. Add the dissolved flour to the soup. Simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. (May be frozen up to 1 month at this point, or refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. When reheating, it may be necessary to add water, as the soup thickens upon cooling.)
5. Taste the soup for salt. Serve very hot accompanied by lemon wedges, which are squeezed, several drops at a time, into each spoonful of soup as it is eaten.

Options:  1. Ok, the traditional version doesn’t have onions but I like this with Onions.  Dice them up and add them at step3.  You could also zap them in afood processor and add them.
2.  I like a bit of sour cream in this soup sometimes.  Just put a teaspoon of it in the bowl.
3.  Being a Southerner, I think this recipe is just crying out for some smoked ham hocks but haven’t tried that variant yet.
4.  It’s also awesome if you drop the veggie broth and put in chicken broth.

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