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Our family has been virtually exploring a country (or region) and its culture every year for ten years. This year we headed to the Middle East to spend some time exploring Lebanon. Since we know little about Islam, this has been a great opportunity to learn more about the religion, and by extension Ramadan.
While learning about the importance and meaning of Ramadan, we are also learning about some of the Lebanese customs associated with it – which, among other things, brings us to food. A common household dish to break the fast at the end of the day in Lebanon is shorbat adas – lentil soup. This soup is often the first course of iftar when eaten at home and it is delicious!
This is a simple soup, but don’t be deceived – it’s quite flavorful. The key is to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice into your bowl of soup before eating it. My daughters were dubious when presented with lentil soup, but found it quite tasty. We will definitely be making this again. It’s pretty filling, so you only need a little as a first course. With pita bread on the side, it would make a great lunch.
Ramadan Kareem! (Generous Ramadan!)
Shorbat Adas / Lebanese Lentil Soup
Serves 4 – 6
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp turmeric
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 lemon, cut in 4 wedges
2. Once the onions have soften, add the garlic, cumin and turmeric and cook while stirring for another minute. Add the stock and bring heat up to medium-high.
3. Rinse and drain the lentils, then add them to the soup. Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce and simmer for approximately 35 minutes.
4. Serve with salt & pepper to taste, and a wedge of lemon – be sure to squeeze that lemon into your soup!
Sahtain! (To your health!)