I usually don’t write two food posts in a row, however after a week of cold weather here in Jerusalem and an even colder Shabbat on it’s way, I have been warming my family and friends up with an easy and quick red lentil soup.
The secret ingredient in this soup is adding a bit of rice to thicken it up.
What you need:
1 1/4 cup of red lentils
1/4 cup white rice
1 onion chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, cut in half
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp Tumeric
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Optional: Chopped Celery, Carrots(1-2), and Potatoes(1-2)
- In a medium-size sauce pot, sauté the onion with the bay leaf for a few minutes until soft. About half way through this process add the garlic to soften it up. (If you want to use celery for some extra flavor, you can add it here with the garlic.)
- Add in the lentils and rice and fill up the pot with cold water a little more than half way.
- Then add in the spices, salt/pepper, and any of the optional vegetables.
- Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, check the consistency of the soup and stir up the bottom. (Sometimes the lentils stick). If it is too thick, add some more water.
- Cook for another 20 minutes or so until the lentils are cooked through and broken apart. Taste the soup and see if it needs more spices, salt and pepper and if so, add them in and boil for another 5 minutes. You can always keep adding water if it is too thick. I tend to prefer a very thick soup, while others like it more watery.
- Enjoy with crusty bread!
My favorite places to buy crusty bread in Jerusalem are from:
I love their “daganim” bread which is basically 1/2 whole wheat with seeds. It is one of their most popular loaves. They have a store on Agrepas St, and a stand in Machne Yehuda (the Jerusalem Shouk), but the best thing about them is they deliver daily to many local bakeries around Jerusalem, including the Agnon Bakery near our apartment. I usually end up buying a loaf there and storing it in the freezer.
*The bread in the photo above is from Teller.
Another favorite and old school Jerusalem bakery, which is located on the other side of Agrepas Street, near Machne Yehuda. I usually buy their “daganim” bread or the one with walnuts. Unfortunately you can only purchase their crusty breads at their stores. They only deliver their regular white and whole wheat breads to local supermarkets.
Habba is a now a wonderful restaurant/bakery on Yafo Street near Machne Yehuda shouk, which sells amazing crusty baguettes, but the real secret is to enter the shouk itself and find one of the few stands that are Habba…although there are no signs. The prices are better and you can also buy the best laffa bread there (6 for 10nis). To get to my favorite Habba stand, enter the open shouk from Yafo street, walk just a minute or so, and get to the first bread stand on your right. You will see those crusty baguettes waiting for you.
Enjoy a keep warm! Shabbat Shalom.