Monday, February 20, 2006

lebanese lentil soup recipe

Martin Pengelly of Balham came to visit us this week and chef tom showed off his culinary insinct with this soup. we were first impressed and then sadly disappointed when there was none left. this recipe serves 6, or in our case 3.

you will need:

  • 1 3/4 cups lentils
  • 8 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro/coriander or parsley
  • lemon wedges
combine lentils, water and salt in a 5 to 6 quart pot. bring to a boil. Then lower heat, cover and simmer gently about 20 minutes while you cook the onions.

heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. add onions and cook, stirring often, until they turn a very dark brown color, about 15-20 minutes. stir constantly during last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking to prevent burning. (it may be necessary to reduce heat to medium.)

when onions are well browned, add 1 cup simmering lentil water to the pan with the onions. stand back; the water will sizzle and steam. continue cooking, stirring every now and then, until the water has almost totally evaporated, about 3-5 minutes.

scrape onion mixture into the pot with the lentils. stir in the pepper. cover and simmer 10 more minutes. remove soup from heat, cool and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, then reheat before serving. (it needs to stand in order to thicken. The soup can be made a day or two ahead, refrigerated and reheated.)

to serve, reheat soup and ladle into bowls. stir 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice into each bowl and finish each with a sprinkle of cilantro or parsley. (Or stir all of lemon juice and herbs into pot of soup.) serve lemon wedges alongside.

No comments: