Sunday, October 13, 2013

Red Lentil Soup with Tachina Swirl

The weather in Jerusalem is changing and I'm so excited! The temperatures are slowly dropping and I decided it was time for a thick hearty soup for dinner. The smokiness of the paprika and the heat from the chili powder give this soup that homey warmth feeling and lentils make this soup so deliciously creamy, you won't be able to resist a second helping. Rich in fiber, iron and protein, lentils should definitely become a pantry staple in your house (so should tahini paste, it's one of my most favorite ingredients, which you'll come to learn in later posts).
If you don't have a blender don't worry you can mash up the lentils with a fork or leave them as is.

1 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion minced
4 cloves garlic minced
2 carrots diced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 cups red lentils
Salt and pepper

4 Tbs tahini paste
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
cilantro (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and carrot. Sauté for 5 minutes then add garlic and spices. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add lentils and enough water to cover them by one inch. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes until lentils are falling apart. Remove from heat and transfer to blender or use immersion blender. Bring the soup back up to a boil. In the meantime prepare tachina sauce. Mix together all the ingredients, you might need a splash of water to loosen it up depending on the thickness of your tahini paste. When mincing the garlic sprinkle a bit of salt on your cutting board and work it into the garlic as you mince, this creates almost a garlic paste and cuts down the assertiveness of the garlic so it doesn't overpower the sauce. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a swirl of tachina.
Serves 4.