Dried limes, or black limes, provide a complex flavor to many Iranian dishes. They not only give the tang of a fresh lime, but also add a fermented, musky depth of flavor. In this lentil soup, the dried lime and sumac add brightness to match the fresh herbs.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
½ cup red lentils
½ cup beluga lentils
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped dill
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 black lime, poked with a knife (optional)
2 teaspoons sumac
5 to 6 fresh chopped tomatoes, or a 14 oz can
salt & black pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté onion, carrots, and celery until soft, but not browned. This will take about 6–7 minutes.
- Add red lentils, beluga lentils, turmeric, paprika, parsley, dill, mint, black lime, and sumac. Stir to combine.
- Add enough water to cover everything by about 1”.
- Raise the heat to bring to a boil, and then lower to simmer.
- Once the lentils are fully cooked, about half an hour, add the chopped tomatoes and salt.
- Let simmer an additional 10 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove the black lime.
- Serve immediately, and garnish with mint, parsley, and dill.
Made it? Tell us about it–