Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lentil Soup - Shorbat Adis

In honor of the month of Ramadan I thought I would share an Iraqi classic first course soup.  This is the Iraqi  version chicken noodle soup - nourishing, healing, and comforting.  This soothing combination of  creamy lentils and noodles is the food that lights up my memories.  The aroma of just cooked Adis perks up palates and warms your stomach to prime you for the courses to come.  A staple during the month of Ramadan - enjoyed during the summer or winter.  A delicious soup that is accessible even with the smallest food budget as a cup full of lentils, a few noodles, and spices is all that required to create this hearty soup.

Creamy Lentil Soup - Shorbat Addis
1 cup red lentils
5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-4 oz vermicelli noodles

Wash and drain the lentils - be sure to pick out any rocks.

In a large pot, heat a tablespoon olive oil.  Add the noodles and toast until golden brown.  Remove and set aside.   Next add the onion, cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions have softened.  Then add in your spices, lentils, toasted noodles and broth and stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, the allow to simmer on medium low for 35 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking or burning.
Garnish with your favorite herbs and a generous dollop of Greek yogurt.

Quick Interesting Facts about lentils: they are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils have to offer. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils. In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels. If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, legumes like lentils can really help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Studies of high fiber diets and blood sugar levels have shown the dramatic benefits provided by these high fiber foods.