This one is different. It uses red lentils.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1-3/4 cups split red lentils
Bunch of celery leaves, chopped, or 1 rib celery, sliced
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 quarts chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1-1/2 to 2 large onions, sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, sliced into wedges, for serving, optional
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper, and stir.
2. Add the lentils, celery leaves and carrot, pour in the stock, and simmer 30 to 45 minutes until the lentils have largely disintegrated. Add salt and pepper, and water if the soup needs thickening; it should be thin, like light cream. Stir in the lemon juice.
3. For the garnish, fry the onions in the oil, first covered over low heat, stirring occasionally, then uncovered over medium and high heat, stirring often, until very brown and almost crisp.
4. Split and open the pita breads and toast in the oven or in a toaster oven, until they are crisp and lightly browned. Break them into small pieces to make croutons.
5. Serve the soup very hot. Garnish each serving with a tablespoon of fried onions and pass the lemon wedges and croutons, if you like, for people to help themselves.
Per serving (based on 8): 343 calories; 13g fat; 2g saturated fat; 7mg cholesterol; 17g protein; 41g carbohydrate; 6g sugar; 6g fiber; 358mg sodium; 48mg calcium.
Adapted from “The New Book of Middle Eastern Food,” by Claudia Roden
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