middle eastern yellow lentil, tomato & aubergine soup

i’m dreaming up winter activities. and in order to make sure i’ve got everything on my list covered, i’m jotting them down here. keep the cold coming! 
my favorite winter activites
1. a walk in the forest, combined with gathering mushrooms or maybe chestnuts.
2. breakfast in bed. with a good book, your favorite tea and maybe your favorite person.
3. a hamam visit followed by a massage. thank you (says your winter skin).
4. pink flowers (like dahlias). because winter will be classy in red and green long enough.
5. make (or buy) a headband, for a stylish appearance on the slopes.
6. spoil someone just because you can. and because christmas is still so far off.
7. make plans for romantic fondue and raclette nights. and of course put them into action.
8. throw a lavish dinner party for your friends. friendsgiving and friendsmas are big.
9. deluxe visit to the movies’. like with those extra large and cozy seats. and xl popcorn.
10. soup! soup! soup! and we’re serving them in old, thrifted soupières. 
middle eastern yellow lentil, tomato and aubergine soup
recipe adapted from the current version of “Essen und Trinken” 
rezept auf deutsch auf si style
200 g onions, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. ras el hanout
5 tbsp. olive oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 red chile, finely chopped
1 tbsp. ginger, minced
some brown sugar
2 cans tinned tomatoes, whole 
500 ml vegetable broth
400 aubergines, cubed
250 g lentils
2 tbsp. currants
salt, pepper, harissa
for garnish:
3 scallions, cut into rings
5 bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
1 bunch coriander, coarsely chopped
2 limes, juice
harissa, for extra heat
heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. sweat onions and garlic until translucent. add cinnamon, cumin (both, seeds and ground), ginger, ras el hanout and chile, and sweat some more. add 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar and let it caramelize nicely. add the tomatoes and broth and let simmer (without the lid) for about 20 minutes on medium heat. do not season with salt and pepper yet, as the lentils need cooking, before (or maybe i’m just superstitious).
in the meantime, heat the rest of the olive oil  in a large pan and fry the aubergine cubes in it. season with salt and pepper and put aside. wash lentils and drain in a sieve.
add currants and lentils to the sauce and let cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. add the aubergines 5 minutes before the soup is being served. 
prepare the scallions and herbs. season the stew with salt, pepper, harissa and lime juice. ladle into bowls, then sprinkle liberally with scallions and herbs. serve with an additional slice of lime and maybe some more harissa. 

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