Lamb and Pearl Barley soup

Hi guys, how is your foodie-life going on out there? It’s such a good weather now here – in Dubai, I’ve heard that this year March is one of the coldest months of the past 10 years! Believe me or not, but I’ve been living here approximately the same time and it really seems colder than usual, especially in the evening or those very windy days, that even with the jacket on I want to go in and hide somewhere with a cup of hot tea. 😄 

And this warm and nourishing soup exactly what I need these days. I’ve been enjoying it for the last couple of weeks, as I cooked it twice and both time in a large pot so it will be enough for at least two days. This soup combines Russian and Middle Eastern flavors and textures: pearl barley is a well-known grain in my home country, and lamb is a popular meat in the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries.

The soup is good in its simplicity, even though it takes more time to prepare it comparing to other soups, but you will like the result – flavorful and delicious thick soup. Using all spices is a another little secret to get wonderful aroma!

“Lamb

  • Servings: “4-5”
  • Difficulty: “very
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Dear readers, sorry but the ingredients’ weight is approximately. Next time I will cook it – I will measure fore sure. 😉

What You’ll Need 

  • 800g lamb, with bone preferably 
  • 100g pearl barley (you need about 2-3 Tbsp uncooked barley per person)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 medium capsicum
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp EV olive oil
  • 2 tsp whole coriander, crushed a bit
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • S&P to taste
  • some fresh chopped coriander, optional
  • Arabic or any other bread to serve


How To Make It 

  • Night before or at least 3 hours before cooking, cover washed pearl barley with cold water.
  • In a large pot, add lamb and cover with cold water. Bring to boil, remove all foam, reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and boil for 1hour. Take the meat from the broth, and cut into medium pieces.
  • Drain pearl barley and then add to the pot, cook for 40 minutes.
  • Cut vegetables into small cubes, and add to soup along with bay leaf. Season the soup with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook the soup for 20 minutes more. 
  • Tip: Add some hot-boiling water if the soup is too thick for your taste.
  • Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, heat the oil and fry onion on a medium heat until it’s just transparent. Add coriander and cumin seeds, and garlic if using, and fry for 1 minutes more. Transfer to the soup.
  • Turn the heat off.
  • Serve hot with some bread. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander, if desired.

Enjoy!

Thick lentil soup with pork ribs

 One is dreaming about spring and warm days, another like me wants the weather staying cloudy and windy as longer as possible. This soup is not something extraordinary, but it is comforting and hearty. It nourishes and fills you up, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need after a long day at work. I love lentils because they are healthy – contain protein, fiber and vitamins, and easy to prepare – you do not need to soak them for hours.
 Aromatic bay leaf and hot chilli flakes make this thick soup brighter! So, wake up your taste buds and start cooking the soup, it’s  a great way to warm up your belly and bowl!Thick lentil soup with pork ribs
If you want this soup to be vegetarian, feel free to omit the meat or try this recipe of red lentil soup (meatless).
Lentil soup with pork ribs, chilli and bay leaf

Thick lentil soup with pork ribs

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsThick lentil soup
200g pork ribs, cut into segments
200g beef, but into medium cubes
4-5 black peppercorns, optional
100g brown or green lentils, washed
1 small leek and 1 small red onion, sliced
2 small potatoes, peeled, cubed or sliced
1/2-1 tsp chilli flakes
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 medium tomato, chopped
1+1 tbsp olive or other veg oil, for frying
salt, black pepper to taste
small bunch fresh parsley or coriander, chopped, for garnish
Method
  1. In a frying pan, heat oil and fry pork ribs and beef cubes from all sides on high heat until just browned. Transfer the meat to a soup pan along with peppercorns, cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Do not season with salt, it will increase the lentils cooking time.
  2. Add lentils to the pan, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in the same frying pan (you use another one if you wish), add more oil if needed, and fry leek and onion on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and fry for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in chilli and garlic, saute for a couple of minutes.
  4. Stir vegetable mixture into soup, season to taste and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes or until lentils and potatoes are cooked.
  5. Serve hot, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Enjoy!
Adapted from Rus magazine “Collection of recipes”, 2010

Beetroot soup with bacon and chive

 The week before St.Valentine’s Day is just started. Are you ready for the Big Day? Have you planned how do you want to spend it? No matter what you choose – whether to go to a restaurant or to spend a romantic dinner in, I recommend you to try this pureed soup with roasted beetroot. You can serve it as a hot starter on the V-Day, or just prepare it during the week.Beetroot soup with bacon and chives  The soup is very easy and quick to make. The only thing I’d like to mention: better to roast beetroot instead of boiling, roasted beets with rosemary and olive oil have such a lovely aroma and they add an extra amazing taste to the soup! And if you are vegetarian – omit the bacon.

Beetroot soup with bacon and chive

  • Difficulty: very easy
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You may also garnish the soup with fresh chopped dill instead of chives.
Omit the bacon for vegetarian option.

Ingredients

2 small beetroots, about 230g
1 small red onion
1 garlic clove, optional, peeled
1 teared fresh rosemary sprig or 1 tsp dried
1 tbsp olive oil
500ml water (or veg or beef stock)
2 small potatoes, about 230g
1 bay leave
1 tsp dark muscovado sugar (or sub with white)
1 tbps lemon juice
freshly ground pink pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste
Garnish
3-4 smoked bacon strips
1.5 tbsp each cream cheese+sour cream (or use more cream cheese)
4 tbsp fresh chive
Preparation method
  1. Wash and peel beetroot, cut into 4-5 slices and arrange on a piece of foil. Slice onion and add along with garlic and rosemary to beetroot. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 20 minutes, then take out onion and garlic. Seal the foil and bake beetroot for 20-30 minutes more or until it’s soft.
  2. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into small cubes. Bring water or stock to boil in a medium pan, add potatoes, bay leave and some salt. Slightly cover, simmer on a medium heat until soft. Discard the bay leave.
  3. Add all roasted vegetables to the pan along with sugar and lemon juice. Season to taste with pink pepper and salt. Simmer all together for 5-6 minutes more.
  4. In a small pan, fry sliced bacon (without oil) until it’s crispy. Drain on a paper towels.
  5. Blend the soup until smooth.
  6. For the garnish, mix cream cheese with sour cream, or use only cream cheese. Chop chives.
  7. Pour the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with fried bacon, chives and a dollop of cream.
  8. Serve warm with some bread.
Enjoy!
Pureed Roasted Beetroot Soup

Masoor dal (red lentil) Soup

Masoor dal is a split red lentils, widely used in Asian cuisine, particularly in Indian. Lentil is a good source of protein and fiber. These lentils do not need to soak overnight, they cook very quickly, so the recipe is perfect for everyday cooking. Adding aromatic Asian spices enhances lentils’ taste and brings loads of flavour to the soup! Rich, amazingly good vegetarian thick soup; you should give this recipe a try! 🙂Masoor Dal (red lentil) Soup

Masoor dal (red lentil) Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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You can skip chilli if you don’t want the soup hot, or add more if you like it really spicy.
The longer you cook the soup – more creamy it’ll be.
Ingredients
300g red lentils, washed
200g (2 small) potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 Tbsp olive or sunflower oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/3-1/2 tsp chilli seeds, optional
1 clove
2 bay leaves
5-6 pink peppercorns, crushed
sea salt, to taste
3-4 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
naan/flatbread, to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add mustard seeds, chilli (if using), cumin, bay leaves, clove and fry until fragrant. Add onion and garlic, cook for 5-7 minutes until soft. Stir in potatoes – fully coat it in oil and spices. Sprinkle with turmeric, pink pepper and salt, stir.
  2. Stir in lentils, add water to cover the mixture. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until vegetables are cooked. Add more boiling water or continue to simmer further to achieve your preferred consistency. Adjust the seasoning.
  3. Stir in fresh coriander. Serve with bread.

Pokhlyobka – The Old Russian Pottage

 Pokhlyobka is a kind of thick Russian soup made by adding flour, grains, potatoes or other vegetables. It is similar to the Britain Pottage.
 Long time ago, it was a main meal among poor strata of Russian society. Most of the time, villagers and peasant farmers cooked and ate vegetarian pottage, because such expensive ingredients like meat or fish were not affordable for them. It’s worth mentioning that meat was eaten once or twice a year; more luckily were farmers, who had lived near rivers and could caught a fish throughout the year. The dish was easy to prepare, and people could use the remains of the yesterday meal – chunks of boiled potatoes or cabbage, then add extra millet or buckwheat. The rich part also ate pokhlyobka, but it was significantly better and besides potatoes, contained the meat of duck, hazel-hens, and etc.
Pokhlyobka
 My recipe of Russian pottage is also without meat.. Definitely, a good piece of fatty pork or beef could makes the pokhlyobka especially rich, so if you’re not a vegetarian you may add it. But I suggest you to try the non-meat option, which is infused with aromatic spices, and delicious pumpkin and thick sour cream make the soup absolutely irresistible!
‘Acoulina cooked absolutely delicious koulebyaks, various pokhlyobki..kvas..soaked apples..’ from the Russian novel ‘Whites, blacks and grays’  by Ivan Lazhechnikov written in 1856.
Pokhlyobka - the old Russian thick soup
  ‘The dinner was absolutely delicious that day: pokhlyobka made from goose meat with wild onions, venison shashlik and slices of bear meat..’ from the Russian novel ‘Plutonia’ by Vladimir Obruchev written in 1915.

Pokhlyobka - The Old Russian Pottage

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
120-130g yellow split peas
3 small potatoes
300g pumpkin or squash
1 medium carrot, sliced
60-70g celery root, cut into small cubes
1 small onion, thinly sliced or finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped, optional
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1.2 l water
1 Tbsp sunflower oil
salt, black pepper to taste
fresh parsley, chopped, for serving
sour cream, for serving, optional
fresh country-style bread, for serving, optional

Preparation

  1. Wash peas, put in a pan, cover with water and soak overnight. Pour out the water. Cover peas with new cold water. Boil on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until peas are tender. Skim the foam during the boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat the oil, add spices and fry them for a minute. Add garlic, onion, carrot, celery root and saute vegetables on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Peel and cut into small cubes potatoes and pumpkin.
  4. Add potatoes to the pottage. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add pumpkin along with fried vegetables, simmer the pottage for 10 minutes more or until the pumpkin is soft.
  6. Adjust seasoning. If the pottage is too thick, add more hot water and stir through.
  7. Garnish each plate with a dollop of sour cream and chopped parsley. Serve with a slice of bread.
Enjoy the old Russian farmer meal! 🙂
I’m bringing this traditional recipe to all lovely people who’s enjoying the FF party today!