Friday, October 3, 2008

Armenian Lentil Soup

I learned to cook from the Moosewood cookbooks. Now, some twenty years later, this lentil soup from New Recipes From the Moosewood Restaurant is still a favorite in constant rotation around here. The book describes it as "healthful and exotic;" a perfect summary. We used tomatoes and mint from our garden, but I have made it with dried mint and canned tomatoes.

Armenian Lentil Soup
(slightly adapted from New Recipes from the Moosewood Restaurant by The Moosewood Collective)

According to the authors, "This soup is perfect with dark bread, sharp cheese, and a crisp salad." Yes it is.

1 1/2 cups dried lentils
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 to 3 cups cubed eggplant (1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplants)
1 green pepper, chopped (optional - I tend to leave it out, as I am not the biggest fan of green pepper)
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
1 bunch of kale, chopped (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice (or another 1/4 tsp cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Rinse the lentils, and then bring them to a boil in the stock or water. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the chopped apricots and simmer, covered, for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the onions in the oil until translucent, then add the egplant and 4 or 5 tablespoons of water. Cook, covered, on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is almost tender. Add the tomatoes, (and the green pepper, if using), dried spices, and salt. Cover and cook until everything is tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir the sautéed vegetables (and the chopped kale, if using) into the cooked lentil-apricot mixture and simmer for 10 additional minutes. Add the parsley and mint and serve.

Yield: 6 servings


Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

I'm off to paris for a while but I'll be trying this out asap and will most defiantely let you know what I think - thanks for sharing..:)

Megan. said...

this looks great-and i bet it smells wonderful cooking! thanks for stopping by my blog and for your sweet comment :) i will definitely be back to yours!

Martha Brockenbrough said...

Lecia,I'm gonna try the soup! It looks delicious...

Lecia said...

here, there, elsewhere: bon voyage! If you try it let me know!

Megan: thanks so much for visiting!

Martha: this is the perfect Seattle weekend to try the soup, no?

amy said...

that looks and sounds fabulous lecia! thanks for sharing... perfect for the cold weather!

Lecia said...

Thanks Amy...enjoy!

Henri Mitu Maailma said...

Thank you Lecia ! You have a great blog !


Alice said...

it's on the stove...I subbed dried cranberries for the apricots cause it's way too hot to go out...yet I had some eggplant to use up so I couldn't not make this. can't wait to serve it warm for dinner with a slice of bread, it looks very promising :)