Sunday, March 3, 2019

Ottolenghi's Sour Lentil Soup (Adas Bil Hamoud) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

On the hunt for a good, nourishing soup to help with a lingering cough and a newer sore throat and cold this weekend, I found Yotam Ottolenghi's Adas Bil Hamoud or Sour Lentil Soup. It looked simple to make and Ottolenghi is a master of flavors, plus lentils, potatoes, garlic and lemon are always favorite ingredients of mine.

Ottolenghi says, "Versions of this soup, in which lemon is king, are found all over the Arab world. Mine is ever-changing, depending on what kind of stock I have in my freezer, or herbs in my fridge, so feel free to play around with the ingredients as you see fit. I like my soup super lemony, but adjust this to your taste, too. If using vegetable stock, consider adding a couple of teaspoons of miso paste to enrich the broth"

Adas Bil Hamoud (Sour Lentil Soup)
Slightly Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi via
(Serves 4-6)

200 g (7 oz) Brown or green lentils
110 ml (3 oz) olive oil 
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 12 Tbsp cumin seeds (I used black cumin seed)
3 lemons, finely shave the skin off one into 5 strips, juice all three to get 75 ml (1/3 cup)
salt and black pepper to taste
3 firm, waxy potatoes (I used Yukon Gold), peeled and chopped into 4 cm pieces (about 650-700g or 2.5-3 lbs weight)
400 g (1 bunch) Swiss or rainbow chard, leaves and stalks separated and coarsely chopped
1 litre (1 quart) vegetable stock (I used 2 quarts water with vegetarian non-chicken broth paste)
1 1/2 Tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 spring onions, chopped at an angle

Put the lentils in a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of cold, lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are nearly cooked but still retain a bite, then drain.

While the lentils are cooking, put 80ml oil in a large, heavy-based pot for which you have a lid, and put on a medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, cumin, lemon skin, two and a quarter teaspoons of salt and plenty of pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until very soft and golden. Stir in the potatoes, lentils and chard stalks, pour in the stock and 800ml water, bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes, or until the potato is soft but still holds its shape.

Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and chard leaves, and leave to cook in the residual heat for two or three minutes, until wilted. Divide between four bowls, drizzle over the remaining two tablespoons of oil, garnish with the coriander and spring onion, and serve hot.

Notes/Results: I really like this soup. The lemon (my three lemons gave me closer to 1/2 cup of juice and I used it all.) brightens up the lentils and chard, and the potatoes give it a stew-like feel. It also made me realize that I need to cook more Swiss Chard--the stems are like flavorful celery and the leaves are not as bitter as some other greens. I did almost double the broth in this one as the lentils will soak it up as it sits. I served the soup with rice, but it is hearty enough to enjoy on its own. I would happily make it again. 

Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck week--any recipe from any of our IHCC chefs.

And for Souper Sundays...

Elizabeth of Literature and Limes shared Crock Pot Beef Stew inspired by a recent read Educated by Tara Westover and said, "I decided to make a slow-cooked stew for this book. After the death of Tara’s paternal grandmother, Tara’s mom comes home to make stew for the family. The stew just has this homey feeling, which I feel like was likely a lot of what Tara had to eat growing up – homey food."

Here at Kahakai Kitchen, I made a book-inspired Avocado Caprese Salad that was a tasty weeknight meal with the fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, fresh basil and avocado. I am lucky enough to get these ingredients year-round, if you aren't , definitely make this dish in the summer. I will be making it again and again. 

Thanks to Elizabeth for joining me this week!  

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I saw that in the Guardian and thought it looked fabulous, but then another friend made it and said it was just OK and not very interesting. I wonder if she left something out?

    1. I don't know. I thought it had plenty of flavor but I used all of my lemon juice which made for about 1/2 a cup (maybe your friend went less lemony?) and made sure to get a good browning of the onions and garlic first. I also used my favorite vegan "not-chicken" broth that has great flavor. I used black cumin seeds but I doubt that made a big difference. Anyway, I quite liked it and I am excited about having some for lunch at work today. ;-)

  2. I wish lentils weren't cut out of my diet, because that looks really good.

  3. This soup sounds quite interesting, Deb. I hope to get another soup up to link this week or next.

  4. Ottolenghi's flavors are always original -- this sounds great!

    best... mae at

  5. I made it this week! I’ll share potatoe soup with you and you can give me a bowl of your lentil soup. I love lentils. Lots of different flavors here.

  6. I also love the flavors this soup,Deb. Wow! So comforting and hearty. I have to agree with you on swiss chard. It is a favorite of mine as well and I'd like to cook with it more often.


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