Month of July: “Purple Citrus Sweet Perfume” Recipe: Mahluta – Lentil, Rice and Lamb Soup

This lentil based soup, a mahluta, comes from Al Halabi, Four Seasons, in Damascus. Silvena Rowe writes “to call this soup delicious and fragrant doesn’t begin to do it justice.” The longer I try her recipes, the more I realize… the woman doesn’t lie! It’s more like a meal than a soup and it’s protein packed. By the time I got to the bottom of the bowl I was stuffed. Comfortably stuffed full of deliciousness. Not a bad place to be. I think I’ll linger here for awhile.

Ingredients:1/1/4 cups red lentils, 1/4 cup Arborio rice, sea salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 grated onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoons ground cumin, 5 ounces ground lamb, coconut (fresh) or garnish with sprig of oregano

  1. Place the lentils and rice in a saucepan, add 6 cups of water and season. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Gently heat the olive oil and saute the onion, garlic and cumin for a few minutes. Add the lamb and cook for 5 minutes until browned. Add the lamb to the lentils and rice and cook for about 30 minutes, until the lentils and rice tender.
  3. If using fresh cocount, shave and toast until golden. (next time I think it would be easier to just add coconut flakes.)

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