Monday, June 14, 2010

Lebanese Lemony Lentil Soup with Bulgur Dumplings (Kibbet Raheb)

Here we have one superlatively healthy recipe!  I think if there were prizes for fitting the most nutritious foods in one bowl this would win.  (Okay maybe not, but I'm sure it tastes better than a blueberry-salmon-kale-flaxseed shake.)
The dumplings were absolutely delicious and very easy to assemble.  They're made from rehydrated bulgur mixed with a little flour, sauteed garlicky onions, and chopped cilantro.
The soup is made from brown lentils cooked with chard, salt and pepper.  When all the cooking was done, I added in one-third cup of lemon juice mixed with more sauteed garlicky onions and cilantro.  I hadn't realized just how lemony the soup was supposed to be.  Caution: It is very lemony!  I may have made a mistake using bottled lemon juice instead of fresh (it's much cheaper and we can't exactly get locally-grown lemons in New England).  The lemon overpowered the cilantro and most of the other flavors.  Just now, on doing some further research, I realized it's supposed to be served cold like gazpacho or a savory summer lemonade.  Now there's a new concept.
When we have the leftovers for lunch today, I think I'll add some more cilantro, strain off some of the sour liquid, add a dollop of sour cream and serve it over rice with soy sauce.  Am I breaking tradition?  Probably.  I prefer to think of it as cultural fusion.

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