Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sephardic Red Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup is traditional for some Sefardim during the 9 days of Tisha B'Av (usually served with cheese bourekas) and since it is fast approaching I thought I would post my recipe for Lentil soup.

It is good any time of year. Lentils are a truly healthy and nourishing food. If you cannot afford much, believe me, lentils will keep you alive when all else is gone. Rich is protein and calories it is an amazing food . It is rich in folic acid, B vitamins , magnesium and heart healthy fiber. You can't go wrong with this wonderful food.

You will need the following:
1 1/2 cups of red lentils

1/4 cup of olive oil

3 or 4 large carrots cleaned and chopped well.

1 Bay leaf

3 Sweet Yellow Onions chopped nicely

1 cup of chopped parsley.. use Italian style.

4 stalks of celery chopped well.

2 heaping Tablespoons of tomato paste

About 8 cups of water.

lemon juice, cayenne red pepper(to your taste and it's optional) and cumin (about 1 or 2 teaspoons)

Salt and black Pepper to taste

Wash and select your lentils carefully. Watch out for tiny pebbles!

Let them soak in water for a couple hours while you do other things.

Saute the onion and celery in the olive oil til the onion is transparent.

Now add in the lentils, carrot and bay leaf and parsley and tomato paste and the water.

Bring to a good rolling boil then reduce to low and simmer it covered.

Simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When the lentils are tender add the cumin and cayenne if you like things spicy and hot.

Add a splash of lemon juice to wake up all the flavors.

Taste and see how it is.. and adjust seasoning as you like them.

Serve hot with fresh hot bread, salad .

Hope you enjoy.


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