This is a soup that I loved from the very first taste. It’s a Lebanese soup that I was introduced to by a friend of my mother’s. When it’s cold outside and I want a mega healthy and delicious soup for my family, this is a top contender for dinner! It’s simple to make and takes about 20 minutes of hands on time and about 45 minute to an hour to cook.
Here is what you need:
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 strips of celery
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 cup of cilantro minced
- pinch of crushed red pepper such as Aleppo pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch of ground coriander
- 2 cups of brown lentils
- 9 cups of stock or water
- 1 bunch of Swiss chard cut into 1 inch strips
- juice from 1 1/2 lemons
- Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the onion and celery in the olive oil until softened. Add red pepper, coriander. Next, add the garlic, cilantro and bay leaf. I add salt and pepper here as well. If I need more later, I’ll add some more with the lemon juice at the last step. I sauté the mixture for about 5 minutes to bring out the flavor of the cilantro and garlic. The smell here is divine!
Add the lentils (that have been washed and rinsed a few times) and the chicken stock or water. Next add the Swiss chard. This seems like a lot of greens, but it all cooks down. I want the flavor or the chard to permeate the soup, so I cook them both together until they are nice and soft (about 45 minutes).
The last step is to turn off the heat and add the lemon juice. You may like it more or less lemony. Some might not be used to such tartness in food. You can taste and adjust as you add. You can garnish with some cilantro, if you like.