… And we’re back!
I took a mini hiatus from blogging over the last week due to my parents’ visit. They were here visiting San Diego from Michigan and getting some much-needed sunshine! It was great to see them, plus it’s always fun to show out of town visitors the best-of-the-best in your city. I don’t know about you, but Dave and I definitely get caught up in the daily grind and sometimes forget how amazing our city actually is. During my parents’ visit we hung out at the Hotel del Coronado, went to visit the Palomar Observatory, and spent some time in La Jolla visiting the seals.
Needless to say, my family’s favorite style of vacationing is gorging. Yes, I am genetically predisposed to food obsession. However, one can only eat so much restaurant food before one’s system begins to actively cry out for some health food in the form of vegetables.
As a result, I decided to whip up a batch of this amazing Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup that I’ve actually been dying to share for a long time. This is one of my very few “repeat” recipes that deserves a special highlight on this blog.
Middle eastern food holds a special place in my heart ever since college. I went to school in southeastern Michigan, which is known for having amazing middle eastern food. I became so used to being able to have this red lentil soup any time of day or night, that I was immediately thrown into withdrawals when I arrived in San Diego, land of amazing Mexican food, but lacking in middle eastern restaurants. Thus, I embarked on a quest to recreate my favorite Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup myself.
The following is the result of that quest- I hope you enjoy!
The spices- the main flavor in this dish is cumin. But don’t be afraid to add a bit of cayenne!
The soup is really quite easy once you get all the ingredients prepped and ready. Just add the chicken stock, lentils, and bulgur to the pot and you’re set to go. Note- you should be able to find red lentils and bulgur in most regular grocery stores, but if you’re having difficulty you may want to check out a middle-eastern or indian market.
This is my technique for simmering the soup “partially uncovered.” You could forgo the wooden spoon and just leave the lid slightly askew. The purpose of this is to let some of the steam evaporate, but not all of it so the soup doesn’t get too thick and pastey. Make sure to stir periodically so the lentils and bulgur don’t get stuck to the bottom.
Make sure to taste the soup and season with salt before serving. I find that I need typically need to be very generous with the salt (this is a very large pot of soup). Garnish your soup with extra lemon wedges. I like my soup extra lemony, so I usually squeeze some fresh lemon on the soup right before eating.
Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup