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!
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 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.
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!
If you want this soup to be vegetarian, feel free to omit the meat or try this recipe of red lentil soup (meatless).
small bunch fresh parsley or coriander, chopped, for garnish
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.
Add lentils to the pan, and simmer for 15 minutes.
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.
Stir vegetable mixture into soup, season to taste and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes or until lentils and potatoes are cooked.
Serve hot, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Adapted from Rus magazine “Collection of recipes”, 2010