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Start the year off with a healthy soup
After a festive holiday season, today's column is about starting the new year with a healthy and nutritious meal. This week's recipe is a combination of my own version of the Moroccan harira lentil soup and a chicken-lemon soup.
The main ingredients are brown lentils, garbanzo beans, onions, carrots, garlic, tomato sauce, lemon juice, curry, ginger, coriander, salt, ground pepper and chicken broth.
This recipe is regarded as highly beneficial for flu and colds.
There is often a thin line between the properties of a chicken stock or broth. A chicken stock is achieved by cooking all parts of the chicken in water for hours over low heat. The resulting stock often needs to be diluted because of its extremely intense flavor. Chicken broth can be much milder than stock and takes less time to prepare.
For this particular recipe, the chicken is cooked with all the ingredients, which greatly enhances the soup's flavor.
At Café Collage, we will be serving this soup for the winter months.
LENTIL-LEMON CHICKEN SOUP
1 cup olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and diced
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon yellow curry
1⁄4 cup minced garlic
1 whole chicken, preferably organic/free range, skin removed and fat trimmed
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tablespoon harissa
1 cup dry brown lentils, soaked in water for one hour and drained
1 cup dry garbanzo beans, prepared according to instructions in cook's notes
16 cups boiling water
1 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 cup extra-virgin olive for drizzling over the soup
Cook's notes: Cover the garbanzo beans with water and soak overnight; drain. Bring 8 cups water to a boil, add the beans and cook for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the beans rest for one hour; drain.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook for few minutes, until lightly browned. Add the salt, pepper, ginger, coriander, curry and garlic, mixing well to form a thick paste.
Add the chicken and brown it on all the sides. Add the tomato sauce, harissa, prepared lentils and prepared garbanzo beans and cook for five minutes. Gradually add all the water. Cook, covered, for 45 minutes over medium heat.
Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool. Cut the chicken meat into pieces or cubes, according to your needs, and return it to the soup. Add the lemon juice and parsley. Cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. Discard any unwanted fat from the surface. There should be very little fat since the chicken was cooked without the skin.
Sprinkle the extra-virgin olive oil over the soup and serve with garlic crostini or pita croutons.