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Thursday, 12 August 2010

My Mum's Lentil Soup - My best loved Soup

Serves 8  |  Easy

Among the best things about going back home is eating mum's food. The very food I had growing up, and the very same food that set the tone for my palate and created the interest in cooking and food creativity. 

Better yet is the abundance of new recipes that mum shares with me every time I go there! Sometimes it becomes more of a chore, like trying to get as many as I can before leaving :) The thing I love the most is that lately, she has been coming up with these wonderful recipes that are great on flavour yet extremely simple and easy to prepare. She says: "I hardly have the time to spend in the kitchen as I did before! But that doesn't mean we have to stop having good food! I am really into fast and easy these days, but of course only the best would do!"

I have squeezed as many as I could out of her in a very short period of time, I will be sharing some with you and thought to start with Lentil Soup, my favourite ever!! Mum's Red Lentil soup is by far the best I have ever tried! Even better than mine!! :)

Lentil Soup can be prepared in a variety of ways. The concept is the same, but there are variations. Some add carrots, some add potatoes, and some use spices...etc I have tried many, but this recipe is by far my favourite of all. Hope you like it too :)

You Need
1 Cup Red Lentils, washed and drained
1 small onion, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, crushed
150g minced meat (you can use lamb mince or veal)
5 cups Chicken Broth or broth made from the bones
1 tsp Cumin powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
Handful of finely chopped parsley
A dash of extra virgin olive oil

 I preffer using the pressure cooker although old fashioned! It keeps the nutrients in the soup, it also saves on time and work. This recipe is based-on the use of a pressure cooker. If you prefer using a regular pot, then please adjust the quantities of water accordingly and cook for longer till the lentils are soft.

In the pressure cooker heat oil, chopped onions till translucent but not browned, then add meat and stir to combine till meat is browned, add the washed lentils and stir to mix. Add crushed garlic, seasoning and cumin powder; stir to mix all. Pour the broth over all and stir scraping the bottom of pot. Close and let cook for 15 minutes extra after the whistle blows. if you are not using the preassure cooking method, then cook till lentils are soft.

Add parsley right before serving and stir to mix, serve hot with fried pita bread squares and a wedge of lemon. for a healthier option toast the bread squares instead of frying them.

Ramadan Kareem!

Thank you for reading this post, looking forward to reading your comments :)