It is 8 degrees celcius in Beirut, a very rare temperature in January. Yes we are blessed with a sweet climate in winter, although this year has proven otherwise. Snow on the mountains, and non stop rain for the last 5 days.
So the least we can do to get some warmth is to make and eat soups! and soups are one of my favorite dish, easy to make, delicious taste and best of all spiked with vitamines as it is packed with vegetables!
Here is a green soup, its main ingredient is Zucchini or courgette (Koussa in Arabic).
1 kg zucchini
1 big potato
1 big onion (or 4 spring onions)
1 l vegetable stock
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp butter
salt and pepper
how to make
Cut all the vegetables in dices. Add them to a deep pot with butter and oil, cook few minutes until golden and a bit tender. Add the vegetable stock, lower the fire and simmer for 20 minutes.
When the vegetables are cooked, turn of the fire. Let it rest for few minutes then puree the soup. I usually use a hand blender and puree the soup directly in the pot! It saves time and washing! Add salt and pepper.
The soup is ready to be served with a sprinkle of finely cut spring onion, a dash of lemon juice or freshly toasted bread crumbs.
A good idea is to make a double portion; half can be frozen.
Do you want to lessen your burden on the environment? Then try eating vegetables and fruits from their proper season.
During the month of March we can find following foods:
Basically make soups and lots of salads…and pies…eat more vegetables and less meat for a little while, it will clean your body and make you feel lighter and more energetic…
Here is a leak and potato soup, easy and quick to make:
3 big leeks, washed and cut into rounds
1 big red onion (shopped or cut into chunks /use any onion, but this one looks nice in the pot!)
2 spring onions (shopped)
2 big potatoes (peeled and cut into dices)
a handful (a bit less) of fresh thyme leaves
1/2 liter vegetable stock
a spoon butter
Put everything in a large pot (except the veg. stock), stir over high heat, let the flavours and colours mix/ when the vegetables are getting a little colour and the perfumes are getting strong (that means 5-7 minutes), pour the vegetable stock over, lower the heat and cook for another 20 minutes with a lid.
You can either eat the soup as is or mix it with a hand mixer. Both options are nice and tasteful!
So, we are in Beirut and the weather is not yet what i call winter, not even autumn, 27 degrees and sunny . Summer decided to stick to us this year and has not prepared itself to go on vacation! But I am craving for winter food especially hot, boiling & filling soups.
In Lebanon we have excellent soups based on lentils, red ones or brown ones. They both are lovely but very different in taste and texture. Today I will post a spicy lentil soup, which is always a success, spices can be toned down or up, according to your preferences.
2 chopped onions
3 crushed garlic
900ml water (3-4 cups)
1 cup red lentils
4 chopped ripe tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp curcuma (or turmeric)
5 cardemon pods (or 1 tsp powder)
1 Cinnamon stick
400g coconut milk
15 ml lime juice
Put all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick, then puree the mixture. Add the coconut milk and the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot!