This past week marked the one year anniversary of the revolution in Egypt. Back in 2011, the excitement was palpable and you could just feel the energetic optimism that comes with the prospect of change. That said, I sincerely hope that some sort of progressive and inclusive democracy takes root in that country.
The first Egyptian dish I ever made was Koshary (or Kushary or Kushari) from a Saveur Magazine article written by Anita Lo. That specific recipe came from an eatery in Cairo's now-famous Tahrir Square. This one for Egyptian Lentil Soup, or Shorbet Ads, comes from Food & Wine magazine and I first spotted it on My German Kitchen (though clearly the dish is not Germanic in origin).
Now, what do I like about this soup? Well, for starters it's a "one-pot meal"- it's incredible easy to make and there are only a handful of ingredients, all of which I had on hand. The soup also has some nice heat and a bit of acid from the lemon. And, it's healthy.
Serve this beautifully-hued soup with warm pita...and
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (I used olive oil)
- 1 white medium onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, copped finely
- 2 celery ribs, chopped finely
- 3 garlic gloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1 pound tomatoes, seeded and diced (I went with organic, BPA-free canned, diced tomatoes)
- 2 cups red lentils
- 8 cups water
- lemon wedges
- warm pita
- Melt the butter in a big soup pot on medium heat and add the vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, garlic). Cook until softened for about 5 minutes.
- Add the spices ( cumin, coriander, ancho chile) to the veggie mixture and cook for another few minutes until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes and let them cook for two minutes.
- Add the lentils and water, season salt and cook the soup over lower heat for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are very soft.
- Puree your soup with a stick blender. Add some more salt to taste and serve with yogurt, lemon wedges and warm pita.