This home-style Lebanese soup is really healthy and delicious. Make sure you remember to squeeze some lemon juice at the end, it makes the dish go from yummy to special. The recipe calls for frozen spinach but I sometimes use fresh spinach or Swiss chard instead.

  • ½ pound lentils
  • 1 large onion, halved lenghwise and sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander, plus extra for garnish
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach leaves, completely thawed and roughly chopped
  • 2 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste

Wash and pick over lentils. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil. Cook, covered, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown the onion in oil in a large casserole. Stir in the garlic and coriander. Add the spinach and sauté for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the potatoes, vegetable stock, lentils, and enough cooking liquid to cover. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 1 hour or until thick and soupy, about 20 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and top with a handful of fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot, lukewarm, or cold.

serves 6

Adapted from Paula Wolfert, Mediterranean Cooking