A friend, whose mother was from the Lebanon, made this soup for me from a recipe that has been handed down in her family. It’s a spicy lentil soup that is thickened with apricots and golden raisins. It is an unusual mixture but one that’s delicious. This is my version of her soup and eating it brings back lovely memories of all the fun and laughter we shared that day.
Ingredients Serves 6
1 large onion finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and shredded finely
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tomatoes, diced
2 litres of well flavoured vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper
90gr ready-to-eat dried apricots, roughly chopped
50 gr golden raisins
a handful of chopped parsley
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the chopped onion and cook until soft but not coloured.
Now add the ginger, cumin and cinnamon and cook over a low heat for about one minute. You could, of course, substitute the fresh ginger for 1tsp of ground if you prefer.
The tomatoes, lentils and stock go in next, then you need to give everything a good stir and bring it slowly up to the boil.
Season it well, add the chopped apricots and the raisins, now cover the pan and let it simmer for at least thirty minutes or so until the lentils are soft.
Check the seasoning and leave for a short while to cool a little, then puree the soup in batches placing the pureed soup into a bowl.
Return the now smooth soup to the pan and heat gently, if the soup is too thick it can be thinned down by the addition of a little extra stock or water.
Serve in warmed bowls with a swirl of soured cream if wished and a scattering of chopped parsley.
Enjoy with whatever type of warmed flat bread you like, generally we eat pitta bread with it.