Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Egyptian Lentil Soup

Last weekend I had a lovely surprise email waiting in my inbox from my mother's good friends Rosalie. She had seen my blog and wanted to share a recipe she had acquired while living in Egypt. Egyptian Lentil soup is a "big deal to them!" according to Rosalie and this soup is sure not to disappoint. From the creamy texture and punchy cumin, right down to the color, this soup is perfect this time of year.

Let's get started shall we?

Just look at those ingredients! How can you go wrong?

Wash your lentils thoroughly
Bring your broth to a boil and then add your lentils, cut tomatoes and quarted onion.

Let the broth mixture simmer while you prepare your chopped caramelized onion.

Cut to 20-30 minutes later: your chopped onion is caramelized and your soup should be pureed- add in the cumin.

And voila!

Egyptian Lentil Soup
This is the recipe as written by Rosalie- my mom's fabulous Roman friend who lives with her China. Talk about an international recipe!
Ingridients :

  • 2 cups ads majroosh, (dried, hulled split, red lentils), or other dried lentils
  • 2 quarts chicken stock, fresh or can
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium tomato, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • lemon, cut into wedges


Wash the lentils in a large sieve or colander set under cold running water, until the draining water runs clear.
In a heavy 4 to 5 quart saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils, onion, tomato and garlic, reduce the heat to low, and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam begins to subside, add the chopped onions and, stirring frequently, cook for 10 minutes, or until they are soft and deeply browned. Set aside off the heat.

Puree the soup through a food mill or pour the entire contents of the saucepan into a sieve set over a deep bowl and force the ingredients through with the back of a large spoon, pressing down hard on the vegetables before discarding the pulp. Return the soup to the saucepan and, stirring constantly, cook over low heat for 3 or 4 minutes to heat through. Stir in the cumin, salt and pepper, and taste for seasoning. Just before serving, stir in the remaining3 tablespoons of butter.
To serve, ladle the soup into a heated tureen, sprinkle lightly with the reserved browned onions and serve the lemon wedges separately.


  1. Hi, I was wondering what variety of lentils are you using? (i recognize the Tesco's range...)
    thank you!

  2. Hi Ilaria- I used yellow split lentils. I think they cost about 86 pence!

  3. I thought your soup looked very yellow (i usually use brown lentils or puy lentils..)
    Thanks!! I am looking forward to cooking it (i love cumin!)

  4. I like the color of this lentil soup.