Every time I think of this Lebanese lentil soup, I am transported to the distant past, when I was little, and my mom would make this delicious lentil soup for me, my dad, and my sister. I remember coming home from school, starving. I would walk into the kitchen, and the scent was just intoxicating! Onions, garlic, and cilantro sautéing in extra virgin olive oil. It was such a lovely treat, especially, on a cold afternoon. Even though, my mom has made it many times since, my most vivid memories are from the days of my childhood. Now, it is up to me to create those vivid food memories with my own family.
LEBANESE LENTIL SOUP WITH LEMON AND SWISS CHARD
1 small yellow Onion
1 large head of Garlic – minced
2 large Yukon Gold Potatoes
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch Cilantro
1 1/2 cups brown Lentils
3 quarts Water
1 bunch Swiss Chard
1/2 to 1 Lemon per bowl – juiced
Start by rinsing the lentils. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, simmer the lentils in water, until they are soft.
Finely mince the onion and garlic, and finely chop the cilantro. In a large pot or dutch oven, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, until they are translucent. Add the cilantro, and sauté for another few minutes.
Wash the potatoes, and cut them into small cubes. Sauté them along with the onions, garlic and cilantro mixture for about 5 minutes. Add the cooked lentils and all their cooking liquid to the dutch oven.
Wash and chop the swiss chard. Make sure to remove the very bottom part of the stems, and discard them. Add the swiss chard to the pot, cover, and simmer over low heat for 3o minutes.
Now that the soup is ready, juice about half a lemon per bowl of soup. As I am Lebanese, I squeeze one whole large lemon for a bowl. I hope you enjoy this deliciously healthy soup.