Throughout the month of January, Borough Market based restaurant Arabic Bar & Kitchen will be serving a spiced red lentil soup and donating £3 per bowl sold to the Soup for Syria initiative.
The healthy yet hearty dish, developed by co-founder James Walters and team features key Levantine ingredients sold within his Arabica Food & Spice range, including ras el hanout, pomegranate molasses and sumac, adding an indulgent depth and spice to the dish.
James Walters commented: “January is a tough month for everybody. Most of us have limited funds for eating out and of course will be watching our waistlines. This soup ticks all the boxes. At £5 a bowl it’s not expensive, it’s good for you, it tastes great and it’ll leave you feeling warm inside both due to the spices used and charitable donation given.
Being a Levantine inspired restaurant we don’t feel that we can simply sit back and ignore the crisis in Syria. The conflict is now in its 5th year and is one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. We have decided to team with Soup for Syria, meaning all profits go straight to the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR to provide urgently needed food relief for Syrian refugees in the Levant.”
Spiced Red Lentil soup
Ingredients (serves 4)
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 small onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. Ras el Hanout
½ tsp. Urfa chilli flakes
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. tomato paste
200g red lentils
3 tsp. pomegranate molasses
1200ml hot water
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh thyme leaves
Fried onions or shallots (Available from any oriental supermarket)
* Peel and finely dice the onion.
* Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan, add the onions and cook on a low heat until they soften, become translucent and give off there natural sweetness.
* Add the garlic, bay leaf, Ras el Hanout spices and continue to cook on a low heat for further minute stirring continuously.
* Add the tomato paste, red lentils and slowly add the 1 litre of boiling water mixing as you go. Finally add the pomegranate molasses. Bring to the boil. Skim the surface if necessary. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes or till the lentils are fully cooked and begin to break down.
* Blend the soup to a smooth consistency and season with salt to taste. If the soup is too thick add more water.
* To serve ladle into deep soup bowls, drizzle with olive oil, liberally sprinkle with crispy onions, a pinch of cracked black pepper, a few fresh thyme leaves and a tiny pinch of citrusy sumac.
Arabica Bar & Kitchen are serving spiced red lentil soup until 31st January and selling copies of the ‘Soup for Syria’ cookbook, featuring recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi, Anthony Bourdain, Mark Bittman and many more, with all proceeds going to the initiative. www.arabicabarandkitchen.com