In order to get my healthy food motivation back I started the day by searching through cookbooks for something really tasty yet comforting to whip up. My partner and I are both sick with colds and felt like soup – so I pulled out the recipe for an old favourite: Shorbat Adas is the Arabic name of a really delicious lentil soup. Keeping with the Middle Eastern theme of lunch, I searched through Yotam Ottolenghi’s vegetarian cookbook Plenty More and found a stuffed pepper recipe that I could alter for the evening meal.
It got us started again and off and comfortably up and running:
Middle Eastern Lentil Soup
I made the entire soup in the pressure cooker (it took 4 minutes!), then used an immersion blender to make it into a smooth texture. As final additions I added the juice of 2 lemons and a handful of torn cilantro.
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 1/2 cups red lentils
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon tumeric
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
For a traditional rendering of this soup wherein you don’t need a pressure cooker this Lebanese-Style Red Lentil is very similar.
I replaced all the butter with 2 tsp of olive oil, and topped it with fresh zaatar.
As I final experiment for the day – I also tried my hand and making fresh pita. I’ve always deplored supermarket pita. Why is it so dry and crumbly? I hate that and I love soft and fluffy pita. With the recommendation of another mother about how easy it is (thanks, Chloe!) I tried it out.
Notes for next time: Roll the dough REALLY thin. I thought I rolled thin enough and they were still too thick to puff up properly. Still…fresh and delicious!
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tsp quick rise yeast
Wait until the yeast goes fluffy then add
- 2.5 cups flour
- 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp saltMix for 5 minutes. I put it all in my Cuisinart and use the dough hook.
Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise for an hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and allow the pita to puff up before flipping. I basted the pitas with a little olive oil on a brush to get them golden.