This is a typical recipe from Lebanon, from the mountains exactly. It was considered poor people’s food as it is vegetarian (vegan even) at a time when only the richer classes of society could afford eating meat every day.
Nowadays what was considered to be the poor man food has become the way to healthier and more sustainable eating habits!
Ingredients for 8 servings
– 300 grams of Swiss chards -if you can’t find it in season, you can use a mix of rocket leaves and spinach.
– 50 grams of dry green lentils
– 2 small potatoes
– 1 onion
– 4 gloves of garlic
– 2 lemons- choose juicy
– salt, pepper, Seven Spices mix, to taste
– 2 spoonful of olive oil
– 1 handful of coriander, green chopped or a readymade paste from a jar (optional)
Dice the onion and crush the garlic.
Sautee in a non-stick pan with a spoonful of vegetable oil. Please reserve the olive oil till later (see tip below).
Meanwhile cube the potatoes and chop the chard coarsely. Add to the pot and stir with the rest. Add the lentils and the spices and stir some more.
Now add a liter of warm water, add the salt. Let boil for 5 minutes then reduce the fire to a minimum and let cook for 20 minutes or until the lentil is done.
Add the lemon juice and the coriander, leave to simmer for 5 minutes and serve.
This soup can be eaten hot or at room temperature. We serve it with some toasted Lebanese bread (pita) on the side. It also keeps amazingly well in the fridge for 3-4 days, so go ahead make it in big batches. Sahtein!
Tip about the Olive Oil: Always add it last in a cooked recipe, because olive oil cannot take the heat. It will break down to unhealthy parts plus it will lose its rich taste. Always start your recipe with a bit of vegetable oil and reserve the olive oil to the last minute so it can keep its taste, its texture and the benefits.