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Lebanese lentil and spinach soup
This traditional Lebanese peasant soup combines the earthy flavor of brown lentils with spinach, cumin, fresh mint, and a dollop of yogurt.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion—finely chopped
2 cloves garlic—finely chopped
1 potato—peeled and diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
4 cups washed and roughly chopped fresh spinach
14 oz (420g) canned brown lentils—rinsed and drained
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons plain Greek-style yogurt


HEAT 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes. ADD the garlic, potato and cumin and cook for another 3 minutes. ADD the mint, spinach, lentils, stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil then cover with a lid. REDUCE the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. PLACE half the soup in a blender or food processor, process until smooth, then return to the soup pot. STIR in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. LADLE the soup into bowls and swirl a tablespoon of yogurt into each bowl just before serving.



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Turkish Carrot, Tomato and Lentil Soup. A delicately spiced, richly colored Turkish soup made from a pureed blend of carrots, tomatoes and lentils. Served with a dollop of yogurt.



  Greek Spinach and White Bean Soup. A delicately seasoned Greek soup with white beans and a range of vegetables including spinach, carrots, celery and potato.


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