100% of profits support orphan education in Kenya

Lemon Lentil Soup Featuring Ajiri Tea

by Kate Holby April 01, 2020

Lemon Lentil Soup Featuring Ajiri Tea

 This perfect quarantine recipe is brought to you by the culinary creative, Annie Strong of Annie's Kitchen. This hardy soup combines classic comforting lentils with our zesty Ajiri Black Tea with Lemon Myrtle. Perfect for an early Spring dinner. 

prep time: 15 min | cook time: 50 min


Notes:

1. Tea Base: I use Ajiri Tea’s Black Tea with Lemon Myrtle for this recipe as a “broth” for the soup. The lemon myrtle lends a subtle, floral flavor that complements the citrusy fresh lemon in the soup. If you want to make this soup and don’t have the tea on hand, you may use vegetable broth instead. 


2. Lentils: There are many types of lentils - the main kinds are red, yellow, brown, and green. Buy red or yellow lentils as they break down nicely and give the soup that unstructured chunky texture we are looking for. Brown and green lentils take longer to cook and also hold their firm shape when being boiled, which is not the journey we want for this soup today.


Ingredients:
makes 2-4 servings, depending on eating as a side or main

  • ½ onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup red or yellow lentils
  • 2 cups Ajiri Tea Black Tea with Lemon Myrtle (2 teabags)
  • 2 cups plain water, plus a little extra to finish
  • ¼ lb mushrooms, optional
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Prep
1. Brew Ajiri Tea’s Black Tea with Lemon Myrtle. Measure out 2 cups boiled water into a liquid measuring cup and add 2 teabags. Steep according to package directions, then remove tea bags. 
2. Rinse lentils in a strainer. Sift through for any rocks left over from harvesting and
discard. 
3. Mince garlic.
4. Peel and slice carrots.
5. Dice onion finely.
6. Wedge lemon into four quarters.
7. If adding mushrooms, dice loosely and set aside in a separate bowl.


Get cooking

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-low heat. Test the pot to see if it’s hot enough by flicking some water on it. If it sizzles on contact, it’s ready to cook with.


2. Add onions and carrots to the pot. Saute until onions have softened and carrots have deepened in color, about 10 minutes.


3. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. 


4. Add cumin and zest the lemon over the pot.


5. Add the 2 cups black tea and 2 cups plain water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


6. Blend the soup ingredients in a high-powered blender or blend directly in the pot with a hand blender. If you are using a standard blender, make sure to remove the center portion of the lid and cover the opening with a kitchen towel as you blend -- hot liquids can cause pressure issues if the blender lid is completely airtight. Blend slowly until you have a thick, smooth liquid.
a. If you prefer not to blend, you can skip this step. I think the soup is better with the carrots and onions blended into the liquid instead of left solid, but you can do
whatever you prefer!


7. Return soup to pot. Add lentils and thyme and stir. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.


8. Meanwhile, saute diced mushrooms in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes until mushrooms have deepened in color. Turn off heat and set aside.


9. Depending on preference, thin out the soup with a little extra water until you reach your desired consistency. I add just a few tablespoons of water to thin it out very slightly but maintain an overall hearty and thick consistency.


10. Add lemon juice wedge by wedge, tasting as you go until the amount of lemon is to your liking (since the amount of juice in each lemon varies, it’s good to add gradually so you can control the flavor).


11. Salt to taste until the flavor of the soup comes alive. Adjust any finishing amounts of lemon or salt until you like the balance of flavors in your soup.


12. Remove the woody thyme stems and discard.


13. If desired, season at the end with a small amount of pepper and add the sauteed mushrooms.

 




Kate Holby
Kate Holby

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Less Doing, More Brewing
Less Doing, More Brewing

by Kate Holby May 08, 2020

Hakuna matata! What "Kenyan Time" teaches us about quarantine time. How we deal with our anxieties to constantly be productive, and our shifting perceptions on what "productivity" actually means.

Continue Reading →

Self-Care and Motherhood in Kenya
Self-Care and Motherhood in Kenya

by Kate Holby April 29, 2020

This term of self-care, as we have come to know it, isn't just reserved for bath bombs or face masks, but is an evolving idea that women can reclaim some time or some money for themselves. Perhaps we don't talk enough about the new clothes or the hair or their new cooking pot because it doesn't align within the common narrative of selfless motherhood and womanhood.

Continue Reading →

Earth Day: Ajiri is Committed to Sustainability
Earth Day: Ajiri is Committed to Sustainability

by Kate Holby April 16, 2020

This past month seemed to float by. We were worried about sales. Worried about the health of our community in Kenya (225 confirmed cases of CV19 in Kenya). We were trying to figure out the transition to teaching by cell phone (not even smartphone) to our Ajiri scholars. And we were worried about how we are going to continue to pay 60 women in rural Kenya when the flow of orders has trickled.

Those worries are all still there. But this past week, instead of swirling amidst the stress and skimming the news and refreshing our browsers, we started to be still.

Continue Reading →