Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Traditional and easy to make Middle Eastern lentils soup with spinach, lemon, garlic, and cilantro.
Prep time: less than 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 people
Soy/Gluten Free and Lacto-vegetarian
I came across this soup a while ago and was taken aback by the lentils and spinach combination. It was something I had never heard of before and I was instantly intrigued. So, I decided to make it and it was delicious!
The official name for this soup is "Bedouin Soup". It is a traditional soup that was made by the nomadic people of the Middle East and the Arabic Peninsula, using simple ingredients that were nutritious and available to them.
The soup is finished by adding "Taklia", a sauce made with butter, fresh garlic, coriander, and salt.
This dish is Lacto Vegetarian.
What is the flavor profile of the soup?
Earthy, tangy, and herbaceous,
What ingredients will I need to make this soup?
Lentils, spinach, cilantro (coriander), vegetable stock, onions, garlic, butter, olive oil, ground coriander, lemons, salt, and pepper.
What kind of lentils can I use to make this?
Any kind you like.
What else will I need to make this?
A large pot for the lentils, a small saucepan for the taklia, a strainer, a cutting board, and a knife.
Can I make substitutions?
Yes. Instead of using garlic cloves you can use garlic paste and you can use ghee instead of regular butter.
For a vegan option, you can substitute the butter for a plant based alternative.
What are lentils?
They are legumes and are small lens-shaped, and range from yellow and red to green, brown, and even black. They are inexpensive, highly nutritious, and can be stored for a long time without refrigeration. These features have made lentils a staple food in many cultures across the globe.
Are lentils healthy?
Yes. Lentils are often overlooked, even though they’re an inexpensive way of getting a wide range of nutrients. They’re packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium.
Lentils are a great source for Thiamine, fiber, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese. Furthermore, lentils contain a broad range of beneficial plant compounds called phytochemicals, many of which protect against chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Are there any other lentils recipes in this website?
Is Spinach good for me?
Spinach is a superfood. It is loaded with tons of nutrients in a low-calorie package. Dark, leafy greens like spinach are important for skin, hair, and bone health. They also provide protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals.
The possible health benefits of consuming spinach include improving blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lowering the risk of cancer, and improving bone health, as well as supplying minerals and vitamins that can provide a range of different
Spinach has been used by various cultures throughout history, notably in Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern, and South-East-Asian cuisines. It can be incorporated quite easily into any diet, as it is cheap and easy to prepare.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 100-gram serving of spinach contains 28.1 micrograms of vitamin C, 34 percent of the daily recommendation.
Different types include savoy spinach, flat spinach, and semi-savoy spinach.
Spinach can be added as an ingredient to many dishes and either cooked or served raw.
One cup of raw spinach contains:
0.86 grams (g) of protein
30 milligrams (mg) of calcium
0.81 g of iron
24 mg of magnesium
167 mg of potassium
2,813 International Units (IU) of Vitamin A
58 micrograms of folate
Spinach also contains vitamin K, fiber, phosphorus, and thiamine. Most of the calories in spinach come from protein and carbohydrates.
What are the other benefits of Spinach?
1. Cancer Prevention. Spinach and other green vegetables contain chlorophyll. Several studies, including this 2013 study carried out on 12,000 animals, have shown chlorophyll to be effective at blocking the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines.
These are generated when grilling foods at a high temperature.
This can contribute to preventing the growth of cancer.
2. Asthma Prevention. A study of 433 children with asthma between the ages of 6 and 18 years, and 537 children without, showed that the risks for developing asthma are lower in people who have a high intake of certain nutrients.
One of these nutrients is beta-carotene. Spinach is an excellent source of beta-carotene.
3. Lowering Blood Pressure. Due to its high potassium content, spinach is recommended for people with high blood pressure.
Potassium can help reduce the effects of sodium in the body. A low potassium intake might be as potent a risk factor for developing high blood pressure as a high sodium intake.
4. Bone Health. Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk of bone fracture. Adequate vitamin K consumption is important for good health, as it acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption, and may reduce the amount of calcium that leaves the body in urine
5. Promotes Digestive Regularity. Spinach is high in fiber and water, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.
6. Healthy Skin and Hair. Spinach has large quantities of vitamin A, which moderates the production of oil in the skin pores and hair follicles to moisturize the skin and hair.
It is this oil that can build up to cause acne. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. Spinach and other leafy greens high in vitamin C are crucial for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair. Iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss, which may be prevented by an adequate intake of iron-rich foods, such as spinach.
Let's Make it!
1 pound of dry lentils (rinsed and drained)
8 cloves of garlic (minced and puree) or 8 teaspoons of garlic paste
1 large onion (chopped finely)
4 cups of Swanson Gluten Free Vegetable Stock
2 cups of spinach (stems removed)
1 cup of cilantro (chopped)
2 lemons (juice of)
2 tablespoons of butter or ghee
1 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash the lentils, remove any debris, and drain in the strainer.
In a large pot over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Sauté the onions until translucent. Add half of the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes.
Once the time has elapsed, add the lemon juice, spinach, and cilantro.
Season to taste. Do not over-salt. The taklia has salt as well so be mindful of that.
Make the taklia by melting the butter in a small saucepan and adding the remaining garlic with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until golden brown and add the ground coriander, remove from heat and proceed to the next step.
Once the taklia is ready, pour it over the lentils and stir well.
Garnish the soup with fresh cilantro, a dash of paprika, lemon quarters and serve.
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