red lentils–2 cups

tomato paste–1 small can, jar

onion & garlic & ginger

salt, pepper, paprika


Fry a couple of good sized onions, chopped, in big glug of olive oil (1/8 cup or more) in large soup kettle–slow and not too hot, till onion is transparent but not brown.


Meanwhile, soak two cups of red lentils.


When the onions are golden and transparent, add a can of tomato paste, the rinsed and drained lentils, and about a quart of water (add more as needed).  Add five or more cloves of chopped garlic and minced fresh ginger (a lump the size of the last digit of your thumb).


Finally stir in a tablespoon of paprika and a teaspoon of black pepper. Simmer slowly for about forty-five minutes stirring occasionally and adding water as needed; the soup is medium thick but not stiff.  Toward the end, add salt (it can tolerate a tablespoon or more, but start easy and taste as you go).


I have served it with a lemon or lime wedge and/or with a dollop of lebni, sour cream or thick yogurt.  A scatter of green herbs is pleasant if you have it–cilantro, parsley, chives, or fresh basil.


This makes a big pot of soup, but it’s keeps well and is good to have on hand for family or visitors. Actually in my house it doesn’t last 24 hours….


Recipe a la Eleanor