2 cups green lentils rinsed and drained
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
4 chicken thighs (skin on, bone on)
2 medium size spring onions finely chopped
2 carrots finely chopped
2 celery sticks with leaves finely chopped
2 red peppers finely chopped (seeds removed)
2 green peppers finely chopped (seeds removed)
1 2inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped or 2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of tabil spice mix (ground coriander, caraway, dried garlic and chili powder)
2 tablespoons turmeric
2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin seed
1 cup plain yogurt (garnish)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley (garnish)
½ lemon (garnish)
Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over high heat. Rub chicken thighs with salt, pepper, 1 tbs of tabil and 1 tbs of turmeric. Coat the chicken with the vegetable oil. Once the pan is hot add the chicken thighs, brown on both sides about four minutes each side. Once the chicken is brown on both sides remove it from the pan and place it in a bowl for later.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, carrots, celery, peppers and ginger (if using fresh ginger). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until the onions are translucent about five minutes. Then add the garlic and remaining spices along with a little more salt and pepper. Saute the garlic for another three minutes.
Once the garlic is translucent add the chicken stock, water and lentils, bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Add back in the chicken thighs along with any juice in the bowl. Stir in the chicken thighs to make sure they are covered.
Gently simmer the soup for about forty five minutes. Remove one chicken thigh to check if the chicken is cooked. Slice into the bone, if the juices run clear the chicken is cooked. Remove chicken and allow it to cool. Continue gently simmering the soup for another fifteen minutes. Once the chicken has cooled, shred the meat off of the bone using two forks or your hands and add the shredded meat back into the soup. Taste the soup for seasoning and if the lentils are cooked through. Add more seasoning if necessary.
Before adding the chicken back in you can choose to either puree half or all of the soup depending on how coarse you like your lentil soup.
Serve with some plain yogurt and freshly chopped cilantro or parsley as a garnish and a squeeze of lemon.