Lebanese Lentil Soup w/ Lemon & Swiss Chard – 3adas Bil Hamod

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.

 


Pommes Anna

In the last two posts, I told you about the Seared Rack of Lamb with Salsa Verde and the Asparagus with Tomato and Garlic Confit.  Now is the time to talk about a delicious potato dish from France, Pommes Anna.  A classic Pommes Anna has potatoes, of course, butter, salt, and a bit of pepper.  My version has garlic and thyme added to the ingredients, just because garlic, thyme, and butter make for very fabulously delicious potatoes.  I, also, make and serve this dish in individualized portions.  In my opinion, that makes it prettier to serve.

POMMES ANNA

5 large Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 stick organic Butter (8 tablespoons)
2 large Garlic cloves
16 sprigs Thyme
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

After rinsing and drying the potatoes, slice them into uniform thin slices using a mandoline.  Make sure to dry them thoroughly, as they will be a little wet.  In a small sauce pan, melt the butter on low heat.  Finely mince the garlic, and add it to the melted butter.  Pick the thyme leaves off the sprigs, and add them to the garlic and butter.  When the butter, garlic, and thyme become fragrant, remove them from the heat, and add them to the potatoes, along with the salt and pepper.  Toss the potato slices with the butter concoction, until the slices are thoroughly coated.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease a baking pan / sheet.  Take a handful of buttered potato slices, and gently stack them onto the baking sheet. Do so, until all the potatoes are stacked in individual little towers.  Top them with a couple of thyme leaves and freshly ground black pepper.  Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 40 – 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through, and the edges are golden and crispy.  Serve alongside you favorite main dish.  I served it with my seared lamb and salsa verde.  It was very delicious!  Bon Appétit!