Sunday, September 3, 2006


Best Blog Tips Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Palestinian Lentil Soup (Shawrbat 'Adas Filasteeniya)

For the last few days, my husband and I have been moving my almost-89-yr-old mother to a new house here on Denman Island. (Well, not a NEW house, but new to her!) This entailed weeding out junk and some packing (she did alot of it herself), the actual move on Thursday evening (with the help of my son and daughter-in-law and their truck, and my friends Holly Walker and Fireweed), and then, the worst part, the cleaning of the old house. Everyone but me and my husband had to go to work on Friday(I took a day off from the library), so, after Holly and Amber helped me move the last bits and pieces, it took me and Brian all the rest of the day to clean. Then there was the junk and garbage, which Amber and Tim took to the dump yesterday. (You gather alot of stuff in 88 years! After this I am determined to weed out the unecessaries from my house to spare my children!) Then there was organizing the stuff in the new house and trying to get my mother to rest and not push heavy boxes of books from room to room!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
My mom, Eve Urbina, age 88, photo taken July 5, 2006!

There is still stuff to do (a friend is helping her put books on shelves today), but we're taking today off until this evening, when we'll go put up her shower curtain, and some little things like that. So that is why I am sitting here blogging!

Yesterday we came home for lunch and I made a quick pot of soup for us to have for supper and to take some to my mom. When we got home for supper, I made a Syrian green bean salad to go with our supper, and pulled out one of the pita breads I made the other day from the freezer, to make zatar bread (included in that recipe) to go with the soup. It was a very satisfying and delicious meal.

Both the soup and the salad recipe are adapted from recipes in a wonderful book called "Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa" by Habeeb Salloum, "a Canadian author and freelance writer specializing in Canadian, Arab, Far Eastern and Latin- American history, travel and the culinary arts. Besides five books and 15 chapters in books, he has had hundreds of articles published about food, travel, history and homesteading in western Canada." Mr. Salloum just happens to be the uncle of one of my subscribers!


This soup really benefits from being made several hours ahead of time and reheated. It's simple, but very delicious. Adapted from the excellent book "Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa" by Habeeb Salloum. Really, the only change I made was to use broth instead of water and add the lemon juice directly to the soup pot (I used the highest amount he recommended, and I also used the pureeing option he gave). This soup serves 6-8 for a starter serving, but we ate it as a main dish, in which case it will serve 4 nicely. NOTE: you could cut down the amount of oil, but it really adds to the taste, and a good serving is still low in calories even with the whole 1/4 cup in the recipe.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, minced
7 cups hot vegetarian chicken-style broth
1 cup split red lentils
1 tsp ground cumin
1 pinch saffron
2 Tbs basmati rice
2 Tbs lemon juice
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

In a nonstick skillet, saute the onions in the oil over medium heat until they soften and start to brown (OR microwave the onions with the oil in a microwave-safe dish, covered, at full power for 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, mix the broth in a soup pot with the lentils, cumin, and saffron. Add the softened onions and bring to a boil. Turn down and cook, covered, over low heat, for 20 minutes.

Add the rice and cook 15 minutes more. Puree the soup with a hand immersion blender and stir in the lemon juice. Taste for salt and pepper.
Servings: 4 main-dish, or 6-8 starter

Nutrition (per 1/4 recipe): 335.6 calories; 38% calories from fat; 14.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 6.9mg sodium; 391.4mg potassium; 40.1g carbohydrates; 6.2g fiber; 2.8g sugar; 33.9g net carbs; 13.1g protein; 7 WW points.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Note: the yellow bits on the beans are actually from the evening sun shining on the olive oil dressing!


This is adapted from another recipe in the excellent book "Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa" by Habeeb Salloum. The contrast between the sweet fresh green beans and the garlicky lemon dressing is superb. The only changes I made were to use fresh beans instead of frozen and cut the olive oil from 3 Tbs. down to 2 Tbs. This was supposed to serve 4, but 2 of us ate the whole dish!

1 lb. fresh small green beans, trimmed
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Steam the green beans until just tender and cool under very cold water, then drain. Place in a serving bowl. Mix the garlis, lemon juice, oil and salt together with a small whisk and toss with the beans. Grind pepper over to taste.
Servings: 2

Nutrition (per 1/2 recipe): 202.1 calories; 60% calories from fat; 13.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 485.0mg sodium; 520.6mg potassium; 19.7g carbohydrates; 7.9g fiber; 3.8g sugar; 11.8g net carbs; 4.5g protein; 4.5 WW points.


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


harlemgrrl said...

that's pretty much my favorite way of cooking green beans (also fresh rather than frozen), so i'll start calling them habeeb salloum style!

btw, congrats to your mom on the new digs :)

runswithdog said...

Congrats to your mom on her move. I hope she has many happy times in her new home! The recipes look great and I will definitely try them.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this will be great for Autumn which is coming upon us!

Thanks, Bryanna :)

spiceislandvegan said...


I met your mom, she is a FINE lady! Looks so good for 89! Hopefully, she will be happy in her new home.

I have to buy that cookbook. Thanks for telling us about it.


Anonymous said...

OMG Bryanna ! Your mom is beautiful ! Hope she likes her new home and is happy in it for ever and ever :)

I've got to try that soup ! I just need to buy saffron and I'm set :)