Chorbet Addas (Algerian Lentil Soup)

(for 6 servings)

- 1 cup lentils, picked over for stones and other debris, rinsed and drained
- 2 pounds lamb soup bones
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 big carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 celery stalks, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ripe, medium tomatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- A bouquet garni, made of: 4 sprigs of parsley, 4 sprigs of cilantro, 4 sprigs of fresh mint and two bay leaves, tied together with a string
- 8 cups water (chicken or vegetable broth if you're not using the lamb bones)
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- For the Dersa:
- A very generous bunch of cilantro chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp zest of a lemon
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp good olive oil


Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to brown slightly, about 10 minutes. Add 8 cups water, lamb bones, lentils, and tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Dersa. On a chopping board, mince the garlic cloves finely. Add the chopped cilantro, lemon zest and cumin and give it another chop with your knife. Gather with your knife and chop. Gather and chop until everything looks blended. Put the mixture into a bowl and add the lemon juice and olive oil. Stir quickly and set aside.

When the lentils are done, discard the bones and the herbs bundle. Season with more salt and pepper if needed and half the Dersa. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with remaining Dersa.


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