This soup is delicious!
Hearty, thick lentil & beetroot soup (stalks & leaves), flavoured with garlic, onion, cumin, harissa, lemon juice, black pepper, & olive oil. Better the next day!
Hint: if you’re making the beetroot felafels (a recipe in the Blood Sugar Diet book), make this soup at the same time to use up the stems and leaves.
• 250g finely diced red Spanish onions
• 250g green lentils (dried)
• 4 cloves garlic = 1.5 teaspoon
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 500-700 g chopped beetroot leaves & stems
• juice of half a lemon
• one third teaspoon harissa paste*
• 1 teaspoon ground sumac, optional
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• freshly ground black pepper
• salt optional
• *Up to a teaspoon, depending how how the harissa is.
1. Wash lentils thoroughly. Drain. Set aside.
2. Place olive oil into large saucepan. When warmed, add diced onion and garlic. (I smash the garlic with a pestle in a mortar.)
3. The secret to a great soup (or curry) is to saute the onions at a low heat for at least 15 minutes. Stir to prevent sticking.
4. Add black pepper, cumin, and harissa paste. (The harissa I use is super hot: yours may not be, so start off cautiously and add more later, if necessary.) Stir frequently for 2 minutes.
5. Add lentils. Stir until coated. Stir frequently for another 2 minutes.
6. Add 2 litres water or stock.
7. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook, covered for 1 hour.
8. In the meantime, wash beetroot leaves and stalks (from 3-4 beetroot) carefully in plenty of water. I wash twice.
9. Chop stalks into 2-3 cm pieces. Slice leaves into the same length. Put aside in bowl.
10. After lentils have cooked for one hour, add beetroot leaves & stalks.
11. Cook until lentils & beetroot greens are soft. If too thick for your liking, add more water/stock.
12. Adjust seasonings. Add salt (optional) and lemon juice.
Options. 1. You can also add 1 teaspoon ground sumac (has a lemony taste with a touch of paprika), if you like when adding the pepper, cumin, and harissa. But if you’re not a great fan (I am), just use the lemon juice later on.
2. A teaspoon of smoked paprika is another option.
3. For an extra treat, add another tablespoon of olive oil when you add lemon juice and stir. This will add another 120 calories to the total, making it 1,510 calories, or 253 per serve for six.
4. You can chop a little fresh coriander over each serve.