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    Iranian-style green lentil, chicken and herb soup

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    Iranian-style green lentil, chicken and herb soup

    A bold, fragrant Middle Eastern-inspired soup. Don’t scrimp on the herbs; they add a wonderful freshness. 

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    3 tbsp sunflower oil
    1 onion, finely chopped
    4 garlic cloves, crushed
    400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    150g dried green lentils, rinsed
    1 tbsp ground turmeric
    4 free range chicken thighs
    1 litre fresh chicken stock
    100g basmati rice, rinsed
    200g spinach
    20g pack fresh dill, roughly chopped
    100g pack fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped
    100g pack flat leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
    ½ lemon, juice

    TOPPING
    2 tbsp plain flour
    ½ tsp sea salt
    1 onion, finely sliced
    3 tbsp sunflower oil
    100g Greek yogurt
    1 tsp dried mint

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the onion with a pinch of salt; soften over a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chickpeas, beans, lentils and turmeric; cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, until fragrant. Add 500ml water, bring to the boil then cover the pan and simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little extra water if it starts sticking.

    2. Meanwhile, season the chicken and put it in a roasting tin. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp oil; roast for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through, no pink meat remains and the juices run clear. Once the lentils are tender, add the stock, rice and 400ml water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 11-12 minutes, until the rice is cooked.

    3. To make crispy onions for the topping, put the flour and sea salt on a plate and toss the sliced onion in it. Heat the oil in a frying pan until it begins to sizzle, then add the sliced onion. Fry over a medium heat for 10 minutes until the onion is golden brown and crispy. Set aside on kitchen paper to drain, then sprinkle with a little more sea salt.

    4. When the chicken is cooked and cool enough to handle, remove the skin and shred the meat, discarding the bones. Add to the soup with the spinach and fresh herbs; cook gently, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes until the greens are wilted and becoming darker. Take off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season. To serve, divide the soup between 6 bowls, top with the Greek yogurt and sprinkle over the crispy onions and a pinch of dried mint. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, November 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue

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