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In Lebanon, this soup is called Adas B'Sbaanegh and is prepared as a starter course or mezze. Though I have not yet tried it, the recipe looks quite straight forward with pleasing results. Traditionally, this is prepared with water but you should feel free to use broth. The amount of oil depends on your taste and dietary preferences. Originally found in a very old cookbook produced by Sahadi's a fantastic market in Brooklyn, NY.
- Sort and rinse the lentils in a large bowl discarding any debris or damaged legumes.
- Place the lentils in a large pot with the water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 25-30 minutes until lentils are tender but still retain their shape.
- Finely mince the garlic and create a paste by mashing it with the salt using a mortar or the back of a large knife.
- In a separate pan, brown the chopped onions in the oil. Add the spinach leaves and stalks, as well as the garlic paste. Simmer over low heat until the spinach is wilted.
- Bring the lentils back to a boil and add the onion spinach mixture and the celery. Turn the heat down again and simmer for 5 minutes.
- If you would like a thin soup, add the lemon juice alone. For a thicker soup, whisk the cornstarch into the lemon juice before adding. If adding cornstarch be certain to simmer a few additional minutes until soup thickens.