Warming Sweet & Savory Red Lentil Soup

Warming Sweet & Savory Red Lentil Soup

If you follow our Side Dish column (look to the right, yes, there!) you may have noticed that our friend, Jennifer Abadi, taught a vegetarian cooking class at the JCC in NYC a few weeks ago. The class focused on meat-free sides from the Middle East, a region Abadi is intimately familiar with as her family’s roots run deep in the Syrian Jewish community. We worked on a recipe for Armenian Red Lentil Soup with dried apricots, cumin seed and thyme that was so unusual that we felt sure our readers would love to have this in their autumn/winter soup tool box.

Here’s what Abadi shared with us about this intriguing and easy- to- make soup, “A small country bordered by Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, Armenia’s cuisine represents a combination of eastern, western, and Asian influences. In this one hearty and delicious soup, Middle Eastern and South Asian ingredients like cumin, dried apricots, and lemon come together with Western flavors such as fresh thyme and vine ripe tomatoes to create a sweet and savory dish that is quintessentially Eurasian.”

The class was unanimous in their love of this soup with unexpected sweet and sour flavors and creamy texture. When I made it at home, we enjoyed it even more on the second and third days when the flavors had a chance to meld.

Let us know what you think!

About Jennifer Abadi:

Jennifer Abadi specializes in preserving Sephardic and Judeo-Arabic recipes, food memories, and traditions. Her area of expertise covers a range of Jewish cuisines (from Syria, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Georgia, Afghanistan, Bukharia, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia, and India), and for more than twelve years has been a culinary instructor teaching her personally developed recipes from these communities at the Jewish Community Center (JCC Manhattan), the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), and the Natural Gourmet Institute, as well as in private homes. She wrote and illustrated her first cookbook-memoir, A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes from Grandma’s Fritzie’s Kitchen based upon recipes and stories from her family, and is currently completing her second cookbook that focuses on Sephardic and Middle Eastern recipes, traditions, and memories for Passover. Every month she writes for her blog TooGoodToPassover sharing discoveries from her upcoming cookbook. To contact Jennifer and view more of what she does, please go to


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