Yesterday I made an impromptu visit to the home of my walking buddy and I was lucky enough to have the added pleasure of meeting up with another old friend. This quick visit had me at the kitchen table chatting, sharing and eating for well over 6 hours. The male specimens in the home wondered through every now and again, picking up ‘supplies’ or just in transition to another room, leaving the chairs full of estrogen to themselves.

I happened upon a day of cooking, with most burners on the stove in full swing. As the time pushed on, I was eventually served up a bowl of the goodness from pot number 1. It was one of her tried and true soups from the cookbook A Taste of Lebanon: Cooking Today the Lebanese Way by Mary Salloum called Shourabit Adas (Lentil Soup). She shared her modifications. (I ended up adding some more of my own.)

I couldn’t wait to go home and make it for myself. A big motivator was the very fresh bundle of swiss chard from my latest Roots and Shoots Farm CSA food basket. Not to mention my CSA potatoes and onions.

Today I made a special trip to Brian’s Butchery & Deli at 1117 Cobden Road, off of Iris Street, between Woodroffe Avenue and Greenbank Road. For this soup I wanted some reliable lean ground beef. Their main supply of beef is from Alberta. Ultimately I was pleased with its flavour and also the freshness. Pink meat through and through.

Shourabit Adas (Lentil Soup)
Inspired by Mary Salloum’s A Taste of Lebanon: Cooking Today The Lebanese Way and by my special walking buddy friend

1 pound lean ground beef
5 onions, evenly chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups lentils
3 tablespoons ground cumin
4 cups vegetable broth
10 cups water
1 bundle Swiss chard, chopped
12 small potatoes (cherry tomato size), halved or quartered, leaving the skin on
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
lemon juice

Heat the butter and oil in a dutch oven. Sauté the beef until fully browned. Add the onions and sauté until the onions are softened.

Add the ground cumin and cook for 1 or 2 minutes to bring out the fragrance of the spice.

Add lentils, broth, water, Swiss chard, potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer at a very low temperature for 3 or 4 hours.

When you serve it up, sprinkle a few drops of lemon the top of the soup.

Great accompanied with freshly baked bread.