By Christine Vartanian Datian
1 1/2 pound dried lentil beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup medium or fine bulgur
4-5 cups beef, lamb or vegetable broth
4 cups water
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, diced or chopped
2 medium carrots, diced or chopped
2 stalks celery, diced or chopped (including top greens)
1 small baking potato, peeled and diced
1 cup low-sodium tomato sauce or diced tomatoes and juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon each sea or Kosher salt, dried basil, dried mint, and cumin
1/2 teaspoon each black pepper, dried oregano, and thyme leaves
Dash of cayenne pepper, paprika, ground allspice, and red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
Chopped fresh spinach, about 1/2 bunch, washed
Plain white yogurt or lebne
In a large pot, sauté the garlic, onions, carrots and celery in a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Place the lentils and remaining ingredients (except the spinach) in the pot and bring to a slow boil over medium heat; stir, cover, and reduce to simmer and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stir occasionally so soup does not stick.
About 10 minutes before serving, remove the bay leaf and add more broth or water if desired. adjust seasonings and stir in the chopped spinach; cook for a few minutes longer before serving. Drizzle with olive oil and additional dried mint before serving and garnish with yogurt or lebne.
*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee, Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, and athttp://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/
*For Christine’s recipes that have been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, go to: http://www.myrecipes.com/search/site/Datian