I tasted that soup for the first time ever in Beirut one year. It was made by Asma, a wonderful Kurdish lady who used to cook for my parents a couple times a week ; her soup was so soothing, so pure, so comforting. She only used three ingredients: red lentils, rice and broth.
Red lentil soup is so simple to make, it can be prepared on Friday night in anticipation of a lazy weekend. It can be either reduced to its essence, with just a sprinkle of rice, or doctored up with a number of spices. Whatever suits your fancy, that day.
INGREDIENTS: This quantity will yield 6 servings
- 2 cups of red lentils
- 1/4 cup of medium-grain rice ( Turkish or Egyptian or Sushi)
- 6 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- salt, pepper to taste
- seasoning of your choice: 2 teaspoon of ground cumin, a couple of lime leaves, a pinch of oregano, a teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pot
- Fry the chopped onions until golden
- Pour the broth and the lentils and all the seasoning minus the salt
- When the lentils are soft and have turned mushy, you can cool them a bit and then puree the mixture in a blender, although that step is optional
- Pour the lentils back in the pot and add the rice
- Return to a boil and lower the heat. Simmer gently until the rice is cooked
- Adjust seasonings and serve hot.
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