What fun blogging is for me, the telling of a story, the teaching a dish, or sharing an experience, I love it all. Less than a month ago I was on our family Summer vacation which took my wife and I and our 2 teen daughters from home here at the Jersey Shore to London, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the Seychelles, and all over South Africa. Ambitious for sure, but in 17 days we did it all and now I can share some of those food/travel experiences via my blog. I hope you enjoy the stories as I will be posting them on here along with my regular posts which come from my own kitchen.
We were in Abu Dhabi and Dubai for a few days and we were smack in the middle of Ramadan which means there were some restrictions on eating. I inquired as to what a popular Ramadan dish would be when eating was permitted and SHORBET ADAS came up a few times, although Yellow Lentil or just Lentil Soup was what I was told. Talking about it on Facebook a friend of mine who hails from the United Arab Emirates told me the lentil soup is SHORBET ADAS. Now if you are anything like me when you find something like that out in the food world it’s pretty exciting. At first I thought, it’s 115 degrees F. outside , why on Earth would I order a hot soup, this is Winter food, but…i had to think like a local and say, it’s always hot here so food temperature is really not an issue. I’m a big fan of all the Middle Eastern flavors with cumin, cloves, onions, herbs, olives..you name it I love all foods made in these cuisines from Israel to Armenia, from Morocco to Egypt, from Turkey to Dubai..the Middle East and it’s bordering cuisines are all joined by similar flavors.
There’s A FOOD OBSESSION enjoying a day on the Persian Gulf in AbuDhabi. A delicious Lamb Kofte lunch poolside awaited me. That’s going to be another blog post. Kofte, those grilled meat “kebabs”,”meatballs” are another favorite food of mine.
We loved our days in the UAE and I’m happy to share this soup with you. LET’S COOK!!
FOR: 4-6 TIME: ABOUT 1 HOUR OR LESS
1 cup YELLOW LENTILS, RINSED (you can use orange or red as well)
1 chopped CARROT
1 diced ONION
1 tsp. SALT
2 tbs. EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1 tsp. CUMIN
1/2 tsp. ground CINNAMON
1/2 tsp. TURMERIC
5 cups WATER or STOCK (VEGETABLE IS BEST, CHICKEN CAN BE USED TOO)
In a heavy saucepan heat the olive oil and saute’ the onions, and carrot adding a pinch of salt and let them get soft, give it around 8 minutes or so. Now add the lentils and let them “toast” a bit in the hot oil, season with cumin, cinnamon and the turmeric. After 5 minutes add the water or stock. Mix, Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to a simmer and let the lentils cook for about 35 minutes or until they have completely softened. When soft remove from the heat and using an Immersion blender puree the soup gently (or carefully pour into a blender or processor and do the same, careful, it’s hot!). Check the soup for seasoning. Serve hot with LEMON WEDGES and each bowl gets a lemon wedge squeezed into it before serving…NOT AN OPTION..otherwise this is just another Lentil soup. Clearly, the serving of the lemon with it is what completely got my foodcentric level of excitement up. It’s part of the recipe, not simply a garnish. Now, squeeze that lemon and enjoy the soup with some croutons or pita bread.