Mesopotamian Barley, Chickpea, Lentil, Tahini Soup

Here is yet another recipe from Silk Road Cooking. I simply cannot resist the array of offerings contained in this book. A perfectly balanced meal in a bowl, as we have legumes and also a grain; in this case, pearl barley, lentils, chickpeas and veggies. For dessert, I served some rather savory jam filled buns. Certainly a good way to warm up on a cold day and it yields a good amount, so you can share with your friends. I received rave reviews and my sweetie will have lunch to take to work so he can avoid crappy coffee shop offerings.

The nutty flavor goes oh so well with the earthiness of the grain and legumes.

This is my submission to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, a popular event started by lovely Susan and hosted this month by Dee of Ammalu’s Kitchen.

Mesopotamian Barley, Chickpea, Lentil, Tahini Soup
2 tablespoons of butter, ghee, or oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 leeks, finely chopped (both green and white parts)
a generous handful of fresh green chilies, sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of chickpeas, soaked overnight in enough water to cover and drained
12 cups of vegetable stock or water
1 cup of pearl barley, rinsed
1/2 cup of lentils (I used puy lentils), well rinsed and free of debris
3 teaspoons of sea salt
freshly ground cracked black pepper
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of turmeric
dash of asafetida
dash of cayenne
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 cups of kale, chopped
1/2 cup of fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup of tahini
juice from one fresh lemon or two limes

In a large soup pot, heat the butter, oil or ghee over medium heat. When hot, add the onions, leeks, chilies and garlic. Stir and fry for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the chickpeas to the pot, along with the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and cover and simmer for 40 minutes.

Now add the barley, lentils, salt and pepper and bring to boil. Again, reduce the heat to medium low and cover and simmer for another 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add the tomatoes, fresh herbs, kale, turmeric, cayenne, asafetida, cumin and coriander. Simmer over low heat for another 30 – 40 minutes. Add more stock if necessary.

Stir in the tahini and lemon or lime juice and partially blend the soup with a hand blender or in batches in a blender or food processor. Add more salt and pepper and garnish with parsley, dill and strips of hot chilies.

Serves 6 – 8

More Middle Eastern recipes from Lisa’s Vegetarian Kitchen:
Marinated Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus with Olives
Middle Eastern Chickpea and Olive Salad

On the top of the reading stack: The National Post

Audio Accompaniment: Palace Brothers


food pictures

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