lentil soups

marrakesh_lentil_pot

My ummah cookbook’s got a lot of lentil recipes. A lot. And I suspect I’ll be trying out all of them eventually. Especially the soups, of which there are more than half a dozen. I’ve already tried the tamarind soup and a couple of weekends ago, I tried two more. One was the Marrakesh Rice and Lentil Soup and the other was the tomato-based Egyptian Lentil Soup with a couple of modifications that apparently turned it Bahraini.

I like how the Marrakesh version came out more, I think, although both are quite edible. The flour and butter add a richness that complements the spice nicely; I’m more used to tomato-based lentil soups, so the thrill was maybe a little gone there. On the other hand, I got to add spaghetti. marrakesh_bowl

Marrakesh Rice and Lentil Soup

from Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East & North Africa

3/4 C lentils, rinsed
7 C water or broth
2 TB olive oil
1/2 C finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 C rice, rinsed
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

2 TB flour dissolved in 1/2 C water
1/4 C lemon juice
4 TB butter

Put the first group of ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cover for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Add second group of ingredients and, again, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Don’t let the rice disintegrate.

Remove the pot from the heat, add the third group of ingredients, then return to the heat and bring up to a boil. Serve.

bahrain_lentil_bowl

Bahraini Lentil Soup

adapted from Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East & North Africa

5 C vegetable stock
1 C lentils, rinsed
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes)
4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 C broken vermicelli (or spaghetti/linguine)
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

4 TB butter
2 teaspoons cumin
4 teaspoons lemon juice

Bring the first group of ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes, or until lentils are done.

Near the end of the cooking time, add the second group. Make sure the pasta doesn’t get overdone.

Add the third group just before serving.

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