Travel Tuesdays: Shurit Ads (Egyptian Lentil Soup)

In order to simplify my life during this busy holiday season, once a week I'll be re-posting some things that newer Polliwog readers probably haven't seen. This recipe will take your taste buds on a little vacation.

This post originally ran on 11 February 2011.

On Monday, I posted a book you can read with your children or students to teach them a bit about modern Egypt. Today... a recipe! Once upon a time this was practically a staple in our house, but for some reason I stopped making it. With Egypt in the news, I was inspired to make it again. It's perfect for the cold winter nights we've been having here. Both of my kids devoured it.

Shurit Ads (from Global Feast Cookbook edited by Annice Estes)
Yield: 4 servings
2 Tbsp minced onion
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup dried red lentils (Usually available in Natural or International food sections of the grocery store. In a pinch, I've used green lentils).
4 cups chicken stock (vegetarians, substitute veggie stock)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped *
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt*
4 lemon wedges

*In the dead of winter when good, fresh tomatoes are unavailable, I double the recipe and use one 15 1/2 oz can of chopped tomatoes. Leave out the salt if you use canned tomatoes.
  1. Rinse and sort lentils. (This is a great job for kids).
  2. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add lentils, 1 chopped onion, tomato and garlic. Reduce heat.
  3. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  4. Meanwhile, saute 2 tablespoons minced onion in one tablespoon butter. Set aside.
  5. Puree soup in a blender or food processor and return to the pot. (This may take several batches, or use a stick blender right in the pot).
  6. Stir in cumin and salt. Simmer for a few minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter.
  7. Ladle into bowls. Top with reserved sauteed onion. Serve with lemon wedges. (The lemon brightens the flavors).
Will you try this recipe? Let us know if you like it. Do you have an Egyptian recipe to suggest?