Egypt: Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

To find something uniquely Egyptian for this cook was quite difficult. There are lots of meals, but many of them didn’t originate in Egypt, or were more Levantine or Middle Eastern. I’m not entirely sure if this soup is originally Egyptian, but it had Egypt in the title and I had lentils in the cupboard, so it seemed perfect.

I don’t know much about Egypt to be honest, except that I would love to travel there (maybe a bit naive, sure). When I was in Grade 5 we had one of the most dynamic teachers, Tammy Stewart. She always went out of her way when teaching us about a subject. For our Harbour theme we had a pirate lucky dip in the back of the classroom if we got a certain number of stamps in our TAS passport. For our Medieval theme we had a castle, complete with drawbridge built into the corner of the classroom. And Egypt was no exception. We arrived on the first day of Term 2 in 1998 to a Pyramid in the back of the classroom. I can still distinctly remember it (although I can’t remember if there was anything inside it). We made papyrus paper, date balls and had to dress up like ancient Egyptians. I only really remember names like Nefertiti or Tutankhamun, Sphinxes, Pyramids and Pharaoh (this limited knowledge probably explains why I am not a historian or a travel agent today). While this story is not at all relevant to what I cooked, it was very special to me, and I like to take the time to appreciate these moments in my Ancient Egyptian history.

So the recipe I used for this soup can be found here. I changed some parts of the recipe to suit myself – I added another tin of lentils toward the end of the cooking of the spuds etc. I also added a tin of chopped tomatoes to give it a red colour and tomato flavour (and later some acidity – not related to the soup but just the tomatoes!). I also used ground coriander instead of fresh as I didn’t buy at the store and my herb garden is looking very dismal (and coriander is not a Winter herb).

I love lentils and I love soup, so I didn’t doubt that this would taste delicious, but it was super delicious! I bought some Ciabatta from Pick n Pay which I warmed up in the oven to serve it with. It really was so delish and I would definitely make it again! Paula reports that it was very tasty too. My dad said it looks delicious when I sent him the picture but then “well that’s exciting” which is certainly sarcasm from my father (he doesn’t like soup or lentils).

I took very few pictures for some reason, so will only feature the end result. For any queries about the process please read the recipe 😉

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