After waking up to another chilly morning, I knew that it was time to stir up a soul-warming super soup. This dish is inspired by the traditional tabikh baqla (purslane stew), that is often eaten throughout Palestine. I thought that if the nourishing green worked well in a stew, then it must be amazing in a nutritious soup packed with legumes, and a variety of delicious spices. The result was more than pleasing. Fresh tomatoes, a batch of revitalizing purslane, hearty red lentils, and wholesome chickpeas boosted with turmeric and herbs make for a most invigorating and pleasurable soup. It also only requires less than half an hour to make. A dish of pure love.
INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 4
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 tomatoes, finely chopped (or 2 cans of the equivalent)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
pinch of red dried red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 can (260 gr.) chickpeas, rinsed
1 cup (160 gr.) red lentils, rinsed
3 packed cups (about 200 gr.) purslane, stems removed, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
1. Soak the lentils in water the night before their use. While this is not a necessary step, it is recommended to aid with digestion.
2. Sauté onion in the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-hight heat until translucent and lightly golden, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings. Add 4 cups of boiling vegetable stock or water to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the lentils and leave to cook for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally.
4. After the soup has cooked for 10 minutes, stir in the purslane, chickpeas, and lemon juice, lower the heat to medium-low, and leave to simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes. Taste for salt, and add additional seasonings to your liking. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.
1. For a legume-free soup, simply omit the lentils and chickpeas, and substitute with more purslane or vegetable of choice. Season to your liking.