Egyptian-Style Koshari Soup with Rice, Lentils, Tomatoes and Pasta
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour
A famous Egyptian street food (a dish of rice, lentils and pasta) becomes a hearty, cheap, rib-sticking soup with this recipe.
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large onions, peeled and finely diced (about 6 1/2 cups )
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon date syrup
1 tablespoon Baharat Spice Mix or store-bought Baharat spice blend
8 cloves garlic, peeled, halved, and grated, any green center discarded
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 cups Roasted Vegetable Stock or store-bought, low-sodium vegetable broth
½ cup medium-grain rice, rinsed and drained (see Kitchen Tips)
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained (see Kitchen Tips)
4 bay leaves
1 cup raw small elbow macaroni or ditalini
2 cups warm cooked or canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Caramelized onions from soup recipe above
1 cup broken pita chips, any flavor
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring, for 10 to 12 minutes, until the onions are soft, translucent, and light brown on the edges. Reduce the heat to medium, add the date syrup, stir to coat, and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, until onions become caramelized. Transfer half of the onions to a small bowl and set aside.
- Add the Baharat spices mixture, garlic, and vinegar and stir well. Add the tomatoes, the remaining salt, black pepper, and stock, stir, cover, and bring to a boil. Add the rice, lentils, and bay leaves, stir, cover, and cook, for 5 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rice is soft (not mushy), the pasta is cooked al dente and the lentils are soft.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with ¼ cup of chickpeas and about 2 tablespoons of broken pita chips per serving. Divide the reserved caramelized onions evenly between them and serve.
- To rinse rice, pour it into a large, deep pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Swirl the water around with your hand, until it is cloudy. Drain carefully through a fine-mesh sieve, taking care not to lose any rice. Repeat the rinsing process a few times, until the water runs clear.
- To rinse lentils, place them in a fine-mesh sieve and examine closely, removing any small stones or debris. Rinse under running water.