Adas Bil Hamoud – Lemony Lentil Soup

Versions of this recipe are made all over the Arab world, it’s undoubtedly one of our new favourites – soup while you still can!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

200g puy, brown or green lentils
110ml olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1½ tbsp cumin seeds
2 lemons – finely shave the skin off  into wide strips, then juice to get 50ml (you can always add extra lemon juice after serving if you want more ZING!)
Salt and black pepper
3 firm, waxy potatoes, such as desiree, peeled and cut into 4cm pieces (650g-700g net weight)
400g Silverbeet or rainbow chard, leaves and stalks separated, then roughly sliced
1 litre vegetable stock (or chicken or beef, if you prefer)
Handful of fresh herbs  (coriander, parsley, dill, spring onion all work deliciously),  finely chopped

Method

The last gasp of soup season comes in ladles of lemony, lentily delight. We could go on and on about how the sweet onions marry with the waxy potatoes, earthy silverbeet, zingy lemon and herbs, but we’d be here forever. Versions of this recipe are made all over the Arab world, it’s undoubtedly one of our new favourites – soup while you still can!

Adas Bil Hamoud – Lemony Lentil Soup  

Put the lentils in a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of cold, lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils are nearly cooked but still retain a bite, then drain.

While the lentils are cooking, put 80ml oil in a large, heavy-based pot for which you have a lid, and put on a medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, cumin, lemon skin, two and a quarter teaspoons of salt and plenty of pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until very soft and golden. Stir in the potatoes, lentils and chard stalks, pour in the stock and 800ml water, bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes, or until the potato is soft but still holds its shape.

Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and chard leaves, and leave to cook in the residual heat for two or three minutes, until wilted. Give it a gentle stir to redistribute the lentils, then divide between four bowls, drizzle over the remaining two tablespoons of oil, garnish with herbs/spring onions, and serve hot.

Hints and Tips

Recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi who says, if you’re using vegetable stock, consider adding a couple of teaspoons of miso paste to enrich the broth.

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