Lebanese Spinach and Lentil Soup
This has fantastic flavor--absolutely love this. Feel free to substitute fresh chard for the spinach or mint for the cilantro. Serve with tzatziki and bread and/or a tomato salad. I used fresh spinach and doubled the recipe. Recipe courtesy of Spilling the Beans.
- Ready In:
- 1hr 15mins
- canola oil or olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups water
- 4 cups chicken stock or 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup lentils (French blue ones are nice or green)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
- 3 ounces vermicelli, broken (or other fine pasta)
- 1⁄2 - 1 lemon
- 1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped
- In a large saucepan set over low-moderate heat, saute the onion in a drizzle of oil with a pinch of salt until transparent and starting to brown, 4 to 7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the water, stock, lentils, and spices, and bring to a simmer.
- Cook, covered, until the lentils are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
- In the meantime, drain the spinach in a colander and squeeze by handfuls to remove as much liquid as possible.
- In a large skillet, saute the spinach in batches with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt until cooked and almost crisp.
- Transfer the cooked spinach to a plate and set aside.
- Once the lentils are tender, add the vermicilli pieces and cook until the pasta is nearly tender, about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Add the sauteed spinach and juice of half a lemon to the pot, stir well, and add salt and pepper.
- Add more lemon if you like, or pass around wedges at the table.
- Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro.
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This was delicious -- perfect soup for a snowy day here in "Downeast" Maine! As one reviewer suggested, I added a little extra cumin as well as 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne to give it a bit of heat. The technique of sauteing the spinach until almost brown and then adding it at the end was really different and definitely added to the flavor. I will definitely be making this again.Reply
This is a delicious and hearty lentil soup -- loved the addition of the vermicelli and of course, the spinach. Definitely a keeper. I served this with a chickpea, tomato, cucumber and feta salad. Next time I might add a bit more cumin to the soup and possibly a little heat (just my preference). Will definitely make this soup again. : )Reply