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 requires about half an hour to make. A dish of pure joy.
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
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 can (260 gr.) chickpeas, rinsed
1 cup (160 gr.) split red lentils, well rinsed
3 packed cups (about 200 gr.) purslane or baby spinach, stems removed, roughly chopped
juice of 1-2 large lemons, to your taste
fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
1. Rinse the lentils until the water runs clear and then soak them in water overnight or at least for a few hours 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/ spices. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, while stirring. 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 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.
4. After the soup has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the purslane (or another green leaf of your choice) and chickpeas , lower the heat to medium-low, and leave to simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, taste for salt, and add additional seasoning 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.