This is my all-time favorite soup. In the food court of my office building there’s this amazing lebanese restaurant called Akli and they serve the most delicious lentil soup. It’s very lemony, fresh, hearty and so, so good. I love that it’s a family run restaurant and that the grand-mother makes the soup fresh every day (I’ve seen it with my very eyes). They serve it with the most yummy toasted pita chips and freshly chopped cilantro. On days when I’m extra hungry I ask for shish-taouk chicken on top. They won’t divulge the family recipe, but I think I’ve come pretty close.
2 onions chopped
4 large celery stalks chopped
2 large carrots – roughly chopped
900 ml chicken broth
2 cans of lentils
The juice of 1 1/2 to 2 lemons (depending on how juicy they are)
5 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp tumeric
2 tsp chicken bouillon (powder or liquid)
Couple dashes of celery salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large stove top pot, saute onions, celery, and carrots in olive oil until tender (about 5-10 minutes). Add in 2 cans of drained brown lentils and cover with chicken broth. Add in lemon juice, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, tumeric, celery salt and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove bay leaves and serve with toasted pita chips, fresh cilantro, and pickled turnip shavings (if desired – it’s still amazing without all the toppings!). Enjoy!