Hila Solomon’s Baghdadi Red Lentil Soup

This humble looking soup was phenomenal. Red lentils, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, hot pepper, lemon juice and tomatoes mingle together to make a exotic soup. The recipe comes from Hila Solomon, who runs Spoons restaurant out of her home in Yemin Moshe. This soup recipe appeared in the Jerusalem Post, but I found it in Chefs’ Confidential, Emunah lovely cookbook. 

The soup will look fancier if you follow the directions in the book to puree it and garnish it with cilantro and lemon slices. I also used less water than the recipe called for. I cut the recipe in half. The whole recipe calls for 3 quarts of water, and instead of using 1 1/2 quarts, I used about a quart. I like a very thick soup. Another change: I just used a little bit of red pepper flakes instead of the hot pepper called for in the original recipe.

Basic idea: saute onions (3 large, chopped) until tender and then add garlic (1 Tbl.), ginger (1 Tbl.), 2 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. turmeric. Stir in a half pound of red lentils. Add 2-3 quarts of water, 2 Tbl. salt, 1/2 Tbl. pepper (or to taste), pinch red pepper flakes, 4 bay leaves, and 2 peeled and diced tomatoes. Simmer until tender, about an hour.  Can puree with immersion blender. Add 1/3 cup lemon juice and more water as needed to adjust consistency of soup.

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