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Lentil Soup with Melon

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Here’s a dish of obvious Moorish inspiration, with the characteristic sweet touch (although hardly perceptible) of melon and the lovely flavors of cumin and cilantro. Black sausage and bacon would most certainly not have been used by the Arabs, but they do add substance and greater character to the dish.

Serves6

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturesavory

Type of Dishhot soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lentils, washed and drained
  • ½ medium melon of your choice, seeded, skinned, and chopped
  • 2 cups chopped Swiss chard or escarole (white and green portions)
  • Two 1-inch cubes slab bacon or salt pork
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, preferably freshly ground in a mortar or spice mill
  • Few strands of saffron
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs cilantro
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 7 cups water
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 morcillas (black sausages) (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Instructions

Heat the oil in a soup pot and sauté the onions and garlic until the onions have wilted. Stir in the lentils, melon, Swiss chard, slab bacon, cumin, saffron, bay leaves, cilantro sprigs, and cinnamon. Add the water, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 45 minutes.

Add salt, the vinegar, potatoes, and black sausage, if using. Cover and continue cooking for 45 minutes more, until the lentils and potatoes are done. If the soup is too thick, add a little water, or if too soupy, boil down. Serve in soup bowls, sprinkled with cilantro.

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