Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Chorbat ad’ss: lentil soup with vegetables شربة عدس بالخضار

Chunky version

Smooth version

Lentil’s soup in the Middle East, Egypt and Sudan is the equivalent of ‘Chorba Frik’ in Algeria and ‘Harira’ in Morocco during the month of Ramadan. The basic ingredient in this soup is red split lentil (unknown off in Algeria). It melts as it cooks giving the soup it's creamy texture. I tasted two versions of this soup, the first one made richer by the addition of other vegetables; the second one is lighter but calls for the use of tomatoes.

I prepared the first version today, but I added turmeric (an Asian ingredient) to have a vibrant yellowish colour and a distinctive taste.

You can serve two ways: smooth or chunky.

I prepare this soup at least once a week and my boys really enjoy it. We have this funny story in our family when the boys discovered the chunky vegetables swimming in the thick broth, one of them went: 'There are vegetables in the soup'

Surprise, surprise!!!!!

2 cups (split red lentils)
1 litre stock (either chicken or lamb or vegetables)
2 medium onions
1 medium potato
1 medium courgette
1 medium carrot
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon juice
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp coriander
A handful of chopped coriander leaves


1.     Chop the vegetables into medium-size chunks.
2.     heat olive oil in cooking pot, add vegetables, and cook for 5 minutes on low heat
3.     Wash lentils until the water is clear
4.     Add stock to vegetable and bring to boil. Add the lentils.
5.     Lower the heat to simmer and cook for about ½ hour or until the lentils is tender.
6.     Puree the mixture in either a food processor or blender and return to pot. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper to soup and stir slowly over low heat for about 3 minutes.
7.     you can also skip the blending stage if you want a chunky soup (the result is something between a stew and a soup)
8.     Decorate with chopped coriander. (you can also add a drizzle of olive oil or a dusting of cumin for extra flavour)

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