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Lebanese Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup with Lemon juice


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Lebanese Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup with Lemon juice

Serves 4 as Soup.

"Adas Bil Hamud" is the Arabic name for this common Lebanese soup, and it translates to "lentils in lemon juice". So, please make sure you can taste the lemon juice in this lovely dish. If you choose to make the additional dumplings to poach in it then the dish is not the Beiruti "Addas Bil Hammud" anymore, it is instead the Northern Lebanese "Kibbet El Rahib" meaning "Monk's Kibbeh" and it is the version I grew up eating.

  • 1 c brown lentils
  • 6 c water (more if you use the dumplings)
  • 16 leaves chard, ribs removed and cut up and leaves chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • 1 c cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 to 4 lemons
  • Salt and Pepper

Optional dumplings

  • 1/2 c fine bulgur
  • 1 T Flour
  • 1 T finely minced onions
  • 1 T chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped mint (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

If you are using the dumplings, make them first. Soak the bulgur in enough cold water to cover for about 30 minutes. Drain them and place in a bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mix. Make sure to have a cohesive dough, if it is too wet add a littel flour, if it is too dry sprinkle in some water. Form marble-sized dumplings and place them on an oiled wax paper in the fridge.

In a large pot place the lentils and add the water, bring to a boil and decrease the heat and let it simmer till almost fully cooked, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a seperate pan on medium heat and add in the garlic and 3/4 of the cilantro. Cook over moderate heat till the garlic is soft but not brown, about 5-8 minutes, turn the heat off and set them aside. About 10 minutes before the lentils are fully tender add the chard ribs and let them cook with the lentils. If you are using the dumplings, add them in with the ribs as well. When the lentils are almost tender add in the cut up chard leaves and the garlic-cilantro mixture. Let the soup simmer for another 10 minutes or until the chard is fully cooked and the lentils are meltingly tender. Season the soup with salt and pepper, and add more water if it is too thick. Turn off the heat and add in the lemon juice, it should be nice and lemony so don't skimp. Stir in the remaining cilantro.

Serve the soup hot or at room temperature with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.

Keywords: Main Dish, Dinner, Vegetarian, Lebanese, Easy, Lunch

( RG1648 )

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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