Posts Tagged ‘Lentil Soup’

My Favorite Ramadan Recipes

July 26th, 2012 8 comments

There are certain recipes I turn to every Ramadan. For example, nearly every iftar during the holy month, we sit down to this easy Lentil Soup. This has been a tradition at our house for several decades. However, I have recently improved this recipe by adjusting the seasonings and the method. Meanwhile, another flavorful soup we eat during Ramadan is Moroccan-style Lentil Soup with Chickpeas, a good soup when I’m looking for something hearty.

As for main courses, a Ramadan favorite at our house is the Palestinian dish Maqluba, which means “upside down” in Arabic. It’s prepared in a layered pot—chicken, rice and cauliflower simmered on the stove and served with yogurt on the side and a simple Arabic salad. We traditionally eat this dish on the first day of Ramadan, as we did this year. I plan to prepare it several more times before the month is over.

For a terrific side dish during Ramadan, I’m preparing Fattoush, a hearty peasant salad from the Levant. It’s super-healthy, as it’s loaded with various greens and veggies and prepared with an olive oil dressing. The salad is topped with toasted Arabic bread pieces, which is what makes it fattoush.

As for sweets, our favorite Ramadan indulgence is ‘Atief. There are endless ways to fill and prepare these little pancakes. My method is to stuff them with walnuts and bake them. This makes for a filling sweet which can be served as dessert or as a suhoor snack. I prepare ‘atar scented syrup to pour over top.

A more traditional dish for suhoor, the pre-dawn meal during Ramadan, is Ful, an Egyptian fava bean breakfast, which is filling and nutritious. Also, at some point I will prepare Hummus, which can be made in advance and served at both iftar and suhoor.

Finally, I’d like to wish you all a blessed Ramadan.

Question: What are your favorite Ramadan foods?

Lentil Soup for the Soul

August 2nd, 2011 19 comments

It’s not Ramadan without lentil soup. When the sun sets and we hear the call to prayer, we break our fast with dates and water and move onto this soup. This is our first course for iftar, the sunset meal to break the fast.

There are as many ways to make this soup as there are Arab families. There are endless variations in seasonings, garnish and proportions. Since we eat this almost every night of Ramadan, my soup is pretty simple.

Easy Lentil Soup

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 or 2 carrots, finely chopped

6 cups water and/or stock

1 cup orange lentils

½ teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon turmeric, for color (optional)

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

pepper to taste

1 lemon

Garnish: chopped parsley

1. Over medium-low heat, sauté garlic and onions until translucent. Add carrots and continue stirring for a few more minutes.

2. Add liquid and lentils. Bring to a boil. Lower temperature and simmer gently for one hour.

3. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and turmeric, if using. For a smooth soup like in the photo, puree in a blender or food processor or use an emulsion blender. Alternatively, if you like the texture, leave as is.

4. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with fresh lemon slices.

 Note: This recipe can easily be doubled. It freezes well.

What soup do you eat during Ramadan?