This is a fantastic recipe that I just obtained from my Macedonian friend, Julia. I would include a picture, but, unfortunately, Jonathan and I just ate almost every bite and there’s not really enough left for picture-taking. And the bag of lentils claimed to serve 13. (I think maybe we have a problem. That can only be remedied by more lentil soup.)
Macedonian Lentil Soup
- 1 package lentils
- 1 bell pepper, chopped (I actually used 1/4 of a pepper, since I’m not big into bell peppers)
- 1 large onion, chopped (or a good quantity of frozen chopped onion!)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 spoonfuls of Vegeta (spice available at international grocery stores)
- Carrots, chopped (as many as you like — adds a nice splash of color)
- Salt to taste
- Package of ham, chopped — or a ham bone, if you want to be thrifty and reuse the one that’s been in your freezer since Easter
- Oil (I didn’t include this, since I had a nice fatty ham bone and didn’t figure it was necessary)
- Black pepper (optional)
- Paprika (optional — I say optional because I totally forgot to add any)
Put lentils in pot; cover with about two fingers of water above the lentils. Boil about 10 minutes; drain and rinse in hot water. Return to pot, with enough water to cover (Julia said three fingers of water over the lentils, but I liked it with less water). Add oil, black pepper, onion, bell pepper, paprika, carrots, garlic, ham, and Vegeta. Salt to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cover, stirring occasionally. Cook until it’s done (about 20-25 minutes — just try a spoonful to see if the carrots are soft).
Julia says that it’s better leftover, as the flavors have more time to blend. We’ll take her word for it, because I don’t know if we have enough left over to test this statement.