During Ramadan, lentil soup is often served daily at Iftar tables. Variations of this quintessential fast-breaker have been enjoyed around the world at iftar time since time immemorial, but nowhere is it as ubiquitous as it is in the Middle East. Lentils are a main ingredient for many authentic Levantine dishes and it’s believed to be one of the oldest cultivated legumes in the region. Also, lentils are rich in fiber, protein, and vitamin C and low in calories which makes it a super healthy and veggie friendly option. Try topping it with pitas croutons and a squeeze of lemon juice. Another nice touch are some radishes, scallions and green chilis.
Here is a simple recipe I grew up on.
- 5 minutes
- 30 minutes
- 4 pax
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrots finely chopped
- 2 potatoes diced or 1 cup of short grain rice (optional)
- 1 cup red lentils, thoroughly washed
- 1 liter Vegetable stock
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 lemon, squeezed
- Parsley for garnish, green onions, radishes, croutons
In a pot over medium heat, sauté the chopped onions with olive oil until lightly browned.
Add lentils and stir with onions for a minute or two (roasting lentils before cooking gives them extra flavor).
The add the carrots and potatoes
Add vegetable stock and 6 cups of water (or you can add 6 cups of homemade chicken stock). Cover the pot and leave it under low-medium heat for about an hour or until lentils are very tender and creamy.
Now after having them cooked, add cumin, turmeric, salt to taste, and juice of half a lemon. Blend the whole mixture using an electric blender to make a coherent and more creamy soup.
Garnish with parsley and serve hot.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Tanya knew that Palestine was her symbolic homeland. Always curious about her identity and connecting with her roots, she was eager to strengthen her ties to the Levant and traveled the region, desperate to learn more. It wasn’t until her first trip to Palestine that she became spiritually and emotionally connected.
She studied Political Science and Sociology at the University of Toronto. She then moved to the UAE, supporting numerous NGOs related to children’s welfare in the region. When she had her own family, she created the My Olive Roots platform in the hopes that her children and the Arabs diaspora would have a place to connect, learn and preserve their roots. Tanya enjoys discovering humanist stories and exploring the connection of food and art with culture.