Lentil soup is a must on Rmadan table in most Arabic countries. It is a perfect start .... (Deja vu! I feel I started all my Ramadan specials with the same sentence but to be honest what makes these dishes relevant to Ramadan is the same thing; soft, warm and easy to eat after a day of starving).
Syrian cuisine (Leventine in general) is poor when it comes to the soup department. Apart from lentil soup, chicken and vermicelli soup is the only other soup that I can truly call authentic native soup (I am sure my Jewish friends will have few words to say about this one!).
There are many different recipes to cook lentil soup. Some only use lentils and water, some add other vegetables, some use stock, some add vermicelli.... Experiment! try different things and see which way you like it.
I cook mine with few vegetables and serve it with bread croutons and a squeeze of a lemon. Most people fry some chopped onion till brown and add to the soup just before serving. I don't do that. I think this works fine with pure lentil and water soup but if you add vegetables like I do the flavours clash.
Here is my lentil soup recipe:
Red lentils 400g
Rice 50g (replace with a small potato)
One quarter of a medium onion
Ground cumin 1/2 tea spoon
Salt to taste
Peel your tomato. It is very easy to do. Cross the bottom of the tomato with a knife then drop in a boiling water for few second. The skin should come off easy. Check this video to see how.
Peel and chop your vegetable. Add all the ingredients to a pot and bring to boil. Skim the surface if necessary. Lower the heat and cook for 30 - 45 minutes or till everything is fully cooked (over cooked is even better)
Use a blender for a smooth soup consistency. Add more water if the soup is too thick.
Cut your bread to squares or thin strips and fry in the oil till golden.
Serve the soup with the bread croutons and a wedge of lemon.
Sorry there is no photo of the finished soup but my cat Anwar dropped my camera and broke it. Here is a photo of the little criminal instead!