This lentil soup — or ‘ash-e-adas’ is a staple in our home. My dad makes the most amazing Persian food – always has. I mean, this man is a genius in the kitchen. I became vegan seven years ago and my sister has since followed. Moreover, my entire family have gradually moved from being highly resistant towards veganism (having come from two cultures that are heavy in consumption of animal products, one of them being a farming family in New Zealand) to basically being plant based. We do not keep meat in the family home and only my father still buys cheese. However, even before my family started to change their own diets, my dad was always interested in the ‘challenge’ of veganizing his favorite Persian foods for me.
You see, I spent my last two years of high school at a boarding school in New Zealand, King’s College, where dad would drop me off on Monday morning or Sunday night and I would come back into the city on Friday afternoons after sports practice. We would email various Pinterest links of different things we wanted to try back and forth while I was pretending to take notes on my laptop in class and, like the sweetest father in the whole world, he would have one ready waiting for me when I came home on Friday.
It wasn’t always Persian food but that’s the aspect that is most interesting to me because that was where he was actually a pioneer. It’s easy to find vegan cake recipes or tips on how to veganize spaghetti bolognese or quinoa salad but it’s a lot more difficult to find recipes of ‘vegan kuku’, which is a Persian herbed frittata. It took a lot of experimenting and he would use whatever was on hand at home over many attempts to get textures right — everything from leftover cooked pasta blended in a foo
d processor to pureed beans and soy yogurt. For someone who was not a vegan, he sure was committed to the process of creating and exploring, which I think is pretty amazing.
A lot of traditional Persian food can be high in fat due to the liberal use of oil but this herbed lentil soup dish is traditionally made without oil anyway and it is absolutely amazing. It is SO simple – could not be easier – and really comforting. It would be the perfect warming meal in winter but I personally enjoy it all year round. These days, in the 49C Dubai heat, I eat it cold or enjoy it over salad as a dressing.
I tend to make it in large batches and then keep it in the fridge or freezer.
If you have a pressure cooker or instant pot, you could totally make this in your dorm room!
Adas/Lentil Soup recipe:
low fat, gluten-free, high protein, plant-based
- 750 g dry French/green lentils
- 6 medium onions chopped
- 1/2 T turmeric
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1/2 t oregano
- 1 vegetable boullion cube
- 1 T thyme
- 1 T ground coriander
- 2-3 cloves of garlic roasted is better
- Salt & pepper to taste
- add potatoes carrots or any other vegetables - a great recipe to use up leftover veggies!
Cook lentils and onions in water with spices, bouillon cube and herbs until tender
Add vegetables if you choose to use them. Cover and cook on low-medium heat until everything is cooked through
Pulse in a blender and serve with flat bread
I ate it with my oil free/Ayurvedic Indian spiced potato salad and it was delicious!
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