This is one of the first recipes I created in my “cooking career”. I was relying on my taste buds, as I was not able to reach my mother for help all the time. It must have been around 1990 when calling Lebanon meant dialling a number hundred times until you got through. A nearly impossible thing for a young overwhelmed mother! I knew my mom used to make a similar soup, and I was missing the freshness of lemon and mint in food. As much as I was enjoying the newly introduced flavours from the good old Bavarian/ German cuisine, I still longed for the flavours from home, especially when feeling homesick.
I have been calling this soup adas bi hamed for years now although no Swiss chard is used in it like in the original one. I have been preparing it in my cooking courses, in charity events, and even in Kindergarten when my children were small, and see it more or less like an adaptation. Assuming the ingredients are always available in your pantry (if you are Lebanese or Middle eastern, they definitely are), you will be enjoying a hearty healthy soup in no time!
Adas bi Hamed - Lentil Soup
Yield 4-6 servings
- 200 g green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 50 g rice, rinsed and drained
- 1.5 litre water
- 1 medium onion (125 g), peeled and finely chopped
- 1 medium potato (150 g), peeled, rinsed and cut into small cubes
- 6 small garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 40 g butter
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried mint, crushed between the palm of your hands
- 2 tablespoons Lemon juice.
- To a medium pot add the lentils, rice, onions, potatoes and the water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
- Heat the butter in a frying pan over moderate heat and sauté the garlic for 1 minute. Add garlic to the soup and season with the salt and black pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over moderate heat for about minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste if necessary.
- Add the crushed mint and lemon juice and serve immediately.
All images and text © Dina Bayoud Kohl for Dina’s Kitchen
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