Lentil Soup with Ruby Swiss Chard and Lemon

Adas bi Hamood (aud-dus bee haum-mood)


Swiss chard is in the same family as beets and spinach, and contains an impressive list of health-promoting nutrients. This delicious combination of lentils, browned onions, cilantro, lemon, and Swiss chard provides a soup that is both healthy and flavorful.


For the Soup

  • 4 cups (lightly packed) sliced ruby Swiss chard (1-inch slices)
  • ½ cup brown lentils
  • ½ teaspoon and ¼ teaspoon and ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion (¼ inch)
  • teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped cilantro; use green leafy parts and tender stems
  • teaspoons flour
  • tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • (You can substitute green Swiss chard.)


Prepare Ahead

You can prepare the soup several days in advance. As it remains refrigerated, the flavors continue to develop. You can also freeze the soup for several weeks in a well-sealed container. Serve as directed.

To Prepare the Soup

Rinse the Swiss chard well before slicing. Cut and discard the thick (celery-like) stalk from the leaf, then cut each leaf in half, lengthwise, following the rib-line to the top. Cut the leaves width-wise into 1-inch slices, and set aside until needed.

In a large pot, place the lentils, ½ teaspoon salt, and 4 cups water over high heat and cover. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, ¼ teaspoon salt, the pepper, and the coriander, and saute until the onions are translucent, browned, and tender. Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic with ¼ teaspoon salt to a pulp and set it aside.

Once the onions are caramelized, add the garlic pulp, the cilantro, the sliced Swiss chard, and the flour. Cook and stir until the Swiss chard has wilted. Remove from the heat and set the mixture aside.

When the lentils are tender, add the Swiss chard mixture and the lemon juice, and increase the heat to high. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

To Serve

For best results, serve slightly warm. If the soup seems too thick, you can thin it down with boiling water or additional lemon juice.