For my family, and for many, lentil soup means winter. But when Ramadan comes in summer, then here is an exception. In Ramadan, lentil soup is to be served almost every day for a whole month on Iftar (breaking the fast) tables. It’s the official soup of Ramadan for Palestinians and Mid-Easterns who celebrate the holy month.
Lentil is main ingredient for many authentic Levantine dishes. It’s believed to be one of the oldest cultivated legumes in the region. Having a quick look at its nutritional facts, lentils are rich in fiber, protein, and vitamin C and low in calories which makes it a super healthy and veggie friendly option.
The recipe I’m posting is the basic one. It brings out the flavor of lentils combined with sour taste of lemon. I use cumin to spice things up, while turmeric to give a richer color to the soup. Roasting onion with olive oil is a must to give it the Mediterranean pleasant taste.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup red lentils, thoroughly washed
- 2 cubes vegetable stock
- Salt to taste
- 1 table spoon cumin
- 1 tea spoon turmeric
- 1/2 lemon, squeezed
- Parsley for garnish
In a pot over medium heat, saute the chopped onions with olive oil until lightly browned. Add lentils and stir with onions for a minute or two (roasting lentils before cooking gives them extra flavor). Add vegetable stock and 6 cups of water (or you can add 6 cups of homemade chicken stock). Cover the pot and leave it under low-medium heat for about an hour or until lentils are very tender and creamy.
Now after having them cooked, add cumin, turmeric, salt to taste, and juice of half a lemon. Blend the whole mixture using an electric blender to make a coherent and more creamy soup. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.