Shorabet al-adas is a classic soup served during the months of Ramadan. You know if it’s Ramadan, then someone, somewhere in the Middle East, is breaking their fast at iftar with a bowl of this nutritious soup. I make this soup beyond Ramadan because it’s extremely fulfilling, hearty and healthy. The fried bits of Arabic bread add the needed level of satisfying crunch and a wee bit of decadence. It comes together fast and gets slurped down even faster. Try it and pair it with beautifully embroidered Ahmar silverware holders and bring a touch of Ramadan to your home. An excellent source of iron and a good source of fiber.
Middle Eastern Lentil Soup – Shorabet Al-Adas
Prep Level: Easy
115 grams of red split lentils or 2/3 cups scant
1 big onion finely chopped
¾ Tablespoon cumin
2 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon coriander
1 carrot grated, or finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro (around 10-15 stalks)
6 cups of vegetable/chicken broth or plain water
Fried or toasted and cubed Arabic khuboz (pita) bread (optional but highly recommended) Alternatively, use your favorite croutons.
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Squeeze of lemon at serving
Boil your vegetable/chicken stock, or water. In a medium large pot, and on medium heat, sauté the onions in the oil and add all the spices and keep mixing for a couple of minutes till the spices bloom (emit an aroma and get toasted). Add the lentils and mix well. Continue mixing the lentils with the spice mixture for 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots, tomatoes, and cilantro. Stir everything for a couple of minutes. Add 5 cups (reserve 6th cup) of the hot liquid of choice and cook uncovered for around 30 minutes. Half way through cooking, check the lentils readiness (should be mushy when pressed on the side of the pot) and amount of liquid left. You should have at least 2 fingers worth of liquid over the cooked/cooking lentils. If it feels like the lentils have absorbed all the liquid, and the soup is too thick, add the extra cup. Blitz in a blender when cooled down. The consistency of the lentil soup should be more on the thick side than thin side. When ready to serve garnish with some chopped cilantro and some fried khoboz (bread) or croutons and a squeeze of lemon juice.