Monday, 30 March 2015

Lebanese Style Green Lentil and Spinach Rashta Soup

I really wish I was more of an organised person. I know a few people who are always super tidy and punctual and seem to always be ticking things off to-do lists. And I just look at them and think, how are you doing this?? I'm more of the type who is always running around to catch the train on time and looking for that thing you lost under that pile of stuff you keep meaning to sort out.

You don't even want to get me started on to do lists. Whenever I try to get into the habit of keeping one, I always seem to end up with a load of papers or notebooks that I either never bother to look at or end up losing. I used to think it added a certain creative quirk, but let's be honest, as you get older, it loses a bit of its charm and you just come across as a bit of a scatter-brain.

Scatter-braineditis is my official excuse for preparing this recipe for MENA cooking club's Lebanese theme and then not posting in time because I got the dates messed up. It was a real face-palm moment, guys. However, all is not lost, as I can still post the recipe here even if I did miss the final cut.


I'd never heard of this soup before I saw it on the MENA cooking club website. I'm still not sure if it's called Rishta or Rashta soup as I've seen it spelt both ways in English. I'm going for Rashta though because as a Desi girl, the word Rishta is something I hear enough of in everyday life...

Being a self confessed soup-lover, who could pretty much live off the stuff, I am so glad to have been able to try out this recipe because it is so lovely. If there is one word that I could use to describe it, it would be nourishing. It's filling and warming whilst also remaining quite light and refreshing. A squeeze of lemon into a bowl before serving helps to also lift the slightly earthier notes. It is, in all honesty, a hug in a bowl. 

And as I sit here, wrapped in layers of clothing in what is now allegedly the start of British Summertime, I can't help but fondly reminisce over this soup. My fingertips are veritable icicles tapping over my keyboard, and a bowl of soup could not sound any better right now. 

So if you're also enduring some chilly weather, or looking for a simple Meatless Monday supper, look no further than here, my friend. 

Being a tres lazy cook, I took as many shortcuts as I could. I used tinned green lentils and fresh egg noodles which considerably cut down on cooking time. In another display of scatter-brainednitis, I didn't realise until I had started cooking that I had no onions in the house. So there is no onions or oil in this recipe, which means that everything is super light and quick to make. As everything is pretty much cooked, it could be done in 30 minutes, but I like to cook a little longer on a slower heat to allow the broth to become as flavourful as possible.

Lebanese Style Green Lentil and Spinach Rashta Soup 

Serves: 2-5 

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes - 45 minutes

by Abida at The Red Lychee


1 tin of green lentils (approximately 235g)
1 clove of garlic grated
1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 stock cube
1 bay leaf
150 g Fresh Egg Noodles
Handful of Spinach Leaves
1 chilli, sliced vertically (optional)
handful of chopped corriander
salt and pepper to taste


1) In a large pot, add green lentils, ginger, garlic, bay leaf, paprika, cumin and a crumbled up stock cube. Fill with enough water to fill the pot, about 2-3 cupfuls, depending on the size of your pot. Simmer soup on a medium heat, stirring occasionaly.

2) Allow soup to bubble away for about 15 minutes, then add in noodles. Allow noodles to soak up broth and cook for about 5 minutes. Add handful of spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes to allow the leaves to gently wilt. Stir in sliced chilli and corriander and let soup cook for a final 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then remove from heat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to each individual bowl before serving. 

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