Although I hate to see summer winding down, and the weather getting cooler, I do enjoy some elements of Fall....the crisp air, wearing sweaters and ankle boots, apple picking, pumpkin patches, watching leaves turn burnt orange/red/yellow, and....soup! Nothing is simpler than throwing some onions, garlic and other veggies, broth, spices, beans, and perhaps a little meat in a pot, letting it all simmer for a bit, and Voila--a scrumptious nourishing meal! And talk about the best leftovers-- soups and stews always taste better after a day or two.
One of the great things about being back home in Detroit is that there's no shortage of yummy Middle Eastern restaurants and one of my fave Middle Eastern dishes to order is lentil soup. I enjoy many different lentil soup recipes, but the Middle Eastern version is my favorite. I love the cumin flavor and the bite of the lemon juice in this version. And the best part is that you can whip this soup up in about an hour. Add a salad and a baguette or cornbread, and dinner is good to go!
Middle Eastern Lentil Soup
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups of dry lentils (red, yellow or green is fine!)
- 4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
- 4 cups of water
- 1 1/2 tsp - 1 T ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
- salt to taste
- juice of half a lemon
- Heat olive oil in a pan and gently sauté the chopped onions for 5 minutes until translucent.
- Add the chopped garlic, cumin, turmeric and continue cooking for a few minutes more.
- Stir in the lentils, add the stock, cover the pot, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are soft. Stir a few times while cooking to prevent lentils from sticking to bottom of pot.
- Blend ingredients with immersion blender or conventional blender until somewhat smooth.
- Stir in salt and lemon juice and serve!