Egyptian Lentil Soup with Spinach and Pasta

Like most conversations with massage therapists, mine was telling me about this amazing bowl of Egyptian Lentil Soup she sampled from a previous client.   What?  You don’t speak to your therapist about soup?

Not to be outdone, I decided I’d give it the college try and look up some recipes online.  I’ve actually never used lentils before, but it was simple enough to follow directions.  Coincidentally I recently watched Cairo Time, a Canadian-made film with movie-club “First Weekend Club“, which had brilliant cinematography showcasing the cultural differences, bustle and madness that is Cairo.  Check it out if you get a chance to.

For my first attempt at this soup, I think I did alright, and got some kudos from my therapist.  In her words, it was “even better than the one I had before”.  Yes! Mission accomplished!

Here’s the recipe:

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 5
Serves: 6

1 1/2 cups of green lentils
7 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 cups of spinach
2 medium onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup of small pasta (I used Arborio rice; you can use broken vermicelli, large orzo)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
Cilantro and fried shallots (optional)

Directions:

1. Wash lentils well and drain
2. Heat oil in a pot
3. Saute onions, then garlic
4. Add lentils and cumin, coriander, salt, pepper
5. Add stock and lemon juice and bring to a boil
6. Bring heat down and simmer for 15 minutes
7. Add pasta and spinach and simmer for another 20 minutes or so (you can add more stock, or simmer for longer depending on the consistency you want)
8. Garnish with cilantro or fried shallots

Enjoy your soup while watching Cairo Time! Perfect!

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