Baking Hermann
Recipes

Rishta bil Adas (Lebanese Pasta & Lentil Soup)

Pasta has long been a staple of Levantine cuisine, where it has found its way into rice and lentil dishes, and even desserts. It has the ability to lift a humble meal of lentils into a complete protein, and makes it incredibly fun to eat. Rishta bil Adas is one of these dishes. It's a comforting lentil soup that gets its rich flavour from carefully caramelised onions, a few spices and fresh coriander. By cooking the lentils together in the same pan, they impart their hearty flavour and turn the liquid into a wholesome broth.

Pasta has long been a staple of Levantine cuisine, where it has found its way into rice and lentil dishes, and even desserts. It has the ability to lift a humble meal of lentils into a complete protein, and makes it incredibly fun to eat. Rishta bil Adas is one of these dishes. It’s a comforting lentil soup that gets its rich flavour from carefully caramelised onions, a few spices and fresh coriander. By cooking the lentils together in the same pan, they impart their hearty flavour and turn the liquid into a wholesome broth.

It’s a popular dish across the Levant, with slight variations, and is usually made with fresh pasta. But since many of my recipes on here take a long time to prepare, I chose the shortcut-version and opted for dried tagliatelle, a common substitute for this dish. By simply crushing the nests of tagliatelle between your hands, they will break into spoon-sized pieces, roughly resembling the kind of pasta that would traditionally be used.

Since fresh pasta usually has some flour stuck to it, I also whisked the lemon juice together with some extra flour before adding it to the soup. That way, the flour doesn’t clump up, but thickens the soup ever so slightly, just like fresh pasta would.

Combining pasta and lentils also turns this dish into a complete protein, a valuable asset on a plant-based diet.

What is a Complete Protein?

A complete protein contains all nine essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce on its own and must obtain from the diet. Animal-based foods like meat, fish, eggs and dairy are typically complete proteins. However, many plant-based foods lack one or more essential amino acids, making them incomplete proteins.

Some plant foods, such as quinoa, soybeans (tofu, tempeh, edamame), chia seeds, hemp seeds and buckwheat, are complete proteins on their own. Others, like beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, are incomplete but can be combined with other sources to form complete proteins. For example, combining legumes with grains, grains with nuts or nuts with legumes can create a complete protein meal.

Our body can store these amino acids and combine them with those received from sources we consume at other times during the day. So eating a complete protein is not essential for every dish. However, combining different sources of proteins in a single meal makes it easier to cover the daily intake.

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra for drizzling
  • 2 large onions
  • 30g coriander
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 300g brown lentils
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 heaped tsp plain flour
  • 1 1/4 tbsp salt (18g)
  • 300g tagliatelle

 

Method

Pre-heat the olive oil in a casserole. Finely dice the onions and sauté them in the oil until dark golden (15-20 mins). Meanwhile, discard the lower stems of the coriander, finely chop the rest and set aside.

Grate the garlic into the casserole and cook for another minute until the raw scent has disappeared. Stir in the spices with most of the chopped coriander and let them heat through, then rinse the lentils and add them to the pan followed by 2l of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 20 minutes or until the lentils are just tender.

Whisk together the lemon juice and flour and stir it into the soup along with the salt. Break the pasta into spoon-sized pieces into the casserole and cook for another 10 mins or until al dente. Divide the soup over plates, garnish with the remaining coriander and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Rishta bil Adas (Lebanese Pasta & Lentil Soup)

Pasta has long been a staple of Levantine cuisine, where it has found its way into rice and lentil dishes, and even desserts. It has the ability to lift a humble meal of lentils into a complete protein, and makes it incredibly fun to eat. Rishta bil Adas is one of these dishes. It's a comforting lentil soup that gets its rich flavour from carefully caramelised onions, a few spices and fresh coriander. By cooking the lentils together in the same pan, they impart their hearty flavour and turn the liquid into a wholesome broth.
Active Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Mains, Pasta
Cuisine Lebanese
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra for drizzling
  • 2 large onions
  • 30 g coriander
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 300 g brown lentils
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 heaped tsp plain flour
  • 1 1/4 tbsp salt (18g)
  • 300 g tagliatelle

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the olive oil in a casserole. Finely dice the onions and sauté them in the oil until dark golden (15-20 mins). Meanwhile, discard the lower stems of the coriander, finely chop the rest and set aside.
  • Grate the garlic into the casserole and cook for another minute until the raw scent has disappeared. Stir in the spices with most of the chopped coriander and let them heat through, then rinse the lentils and add them to the pan followed by 2l of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 20 minutes or until the lentils are just tender.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice and flour and stir it into the soup along with the salt. Break the pasta into spoon-sized pieces into the casserole and cook for another 10 mins or until al dente. Divide the soup over plates, garnish with the remaining coriander and a drizzle of olive oil.
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2 Comments

  1. Ann Misir

    This looks very tasty, and I’m planning to make it this week. Thanks for bit of a change from my usual lentil-potato soup!

    Reply
    • Julius Fiedler

      Hope you liked it!

      Reply

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