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Lentil Soup

500g (1 lb) red lentils
1 3/4 liter (3 pints) beef or chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch cayenne (optional)

Put lentils in a large pot with stock. Bring to a boil. Remove
any scum and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils disintegrate.
Add salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne when the lentils begin to
soften. Add water if it gets too thick.

Garnish with fried onions and garlic flavored with coriander,
parsley or dill, pita and a lemon wedge.

To make chicken stock:

Get some chicken bones from your local butcher or save and freeze
them when you de-bone chicken breasts.

Prepare a mirepoix (chopped carrots, onions or shallots, celery or
celery root (preferable, also known as celeriac) and garlic) exact
quantities depend on the volume of stock you are making and your
own personal taste.

Sweat the mirepoix on medium heat with a little oil (let the veggies
cook alone for a while)

If using fresh bones, add them to the mirepoix and heat them up.
Do not do this for frozen bones and meat as too much blood will be
released later and cloud the stock.

When the bones are hot, add very cold water (as much as you want,
depends on how much bones you have).

Add a few peppercorns and whatever other herb and spice you like
(oregano is nice)

Simmer for 3-4 hours removing scum frequently.

Strain stock through a couple layers of cheesecloth.


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