• Najwa Kronfel

Red Lentil Soup With Teklai

I can’t get through Winter without soup and this red lentil soup is what I often crave when I’m looking for comfort food. It’s flavorful and easy to put together, don’t you love to hear that? This is not your ordinary lentil soup. Besides having enticing elements like curry and coconut milk, this soup is perfumed with teklai. Teklai is basically garlic cooked in olive oil and coriander (I also like to add cumin) and finish off with lemon juice. This sauce is often used in the Middle East to garnish soups and stews and it’s particularly  famous in a soup called “Moloukhiya” (a childhood favorite).

Now, lets talk garlic for a minute. Teklai is very garlicky which is what I love about it, besides, I’m not related to a vampire and if you are not either, you should be fine! The good news is that this soup is flavorful with or without it. I also like to add fresh herbs,  whatever I have in hand, in this case parsley but cilantro is even better.  What’s your favorite winter soup? 


(serves 4)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, cubed

1 garlic clove, minced

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 tablespoon curry

1 cup red split lentil, washed

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

3 1/2 cups water

salt and pepper to taste

In a pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions, carrots, garlic and celery, cook for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover the pot and simmer for 25 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Serve with teklai and garnish with parsley or cilantro.

For the teklai:

1/3 cup olive oil

10 garlic cloves, finely chopped (you can put it in the food processor)

 2 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

the juice of 1 lemon

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan then add the garlic, cook until golden, about 3  to 4 minutes just be careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in the coriander, cumin and salt and cook for 1 minute more. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. You can refrigerate this for a few weeks, just cover it well.

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