top of page

Lentil Soup, Date Balls, Celery Salad

['3 tablespoons (27 grams) kosher salt', '1 tablespoon (7.6 grams) ground cumin', '1 tablespoon (5.5 grams) ground coriander', '1 teaspoon (2.6 grams) ground white pepper', '1 1/2 teaspoons (4 grams) sweet paprika', '1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground ginger', '1/2 teaspoon (1.4 grams) ground turmeric', '1/4 teaspoon (0.2 gram) saffron threads', '2 cups (484 grams) tomato paste (not double concentrate)', '8 quarts plus 1 cup (7.6 kilograms) cold water', '2 bunches (8 ounces/224 grams) cilantro, leaves and tender stems only', '1 bunch (4 ounces/112 grams) flat-leaf parsley, leaves and tender stems only', '1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) yellow onions', 'Green leaves from 1 bunch celery, about 3 cups (35 grams); stalks reserved for garnish', '1/3 cup (44 grams) all-purpose flour', '2 cups (468 grams) warm water (about 110°F)', '1/8 teaspoon (0.4 gram) active dry yeast (not quick-rising)', 'Kosher salt', '3 tablespoons (45 grams) fresh lemon juice, or to taste', '12 Medjool dates', 'Extra virgin olive oil', '1 1/2 cups (288 grams) dried green lentils, preferably French, picked through and rinsed', 'Reserved bunch of celery (from above)', '2 tablespoons (27 grams) extra virgin olive oil', '2 tablespoons (8 grams) minced flat-leaf parsley', 'Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper']

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside
Put the tomato paste and 7 quarts (6.6 kilograms) cold water in a large nonreactive stockpot over high heat. Whisk occasionally as the water comes to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook for about 1 hour, or until it has reduced by about one-quarter. (Remove from the heat if the onions aren't ready.)
Meanwhile, rinse the cilantro and parsley well and set aside. Cut the onions into large chunks. Put the chunks in a food processor and pulse until they are becoming a mush. Add as much of the herbs as fit into the food processor. Pulse the machine, adding small amounts of cold water if necessary to allow the blade to spin. As the herbs decrease in volume, add the remaining herbs and the celery leaves and continue to pulse. Stop from time to time to scrape the sides with a rubber spatula and mix the herbs to redistribute them. Run the machine for up to 10 minutes, until the mixture is almost liquefied.
Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan and stir in the spice mix.
Add the remaining 5 cups (1.2 kilograms) cold water to the onions and bring to a gentle boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and boil gently for about 1 hour or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Stir the onion mixture into the stockpot, return to a simmer, and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, skimming any impurities that rise to the top, until the soup has reduced by about one-third to just over 4 quarts (4 kilograms).
Cut a lengthwise slit down one side of each date, open it as you would a book, and remove the pit. Cut the dates lengthwise in half, then cut each half lengthwise into 4 strips. Using your fingertips, shape each strip into a rough ball. If you keep the skin side facing out, the ball will be less sticky and will hold together better.
Pour a shallow pool of olive oil into a small bowl. Rub a little of the oil on the center of one palm, put a date ball on it, and use the index finger of your other hand to roll the date into a smooth ball. Put the ball in the bowl of oil, and repeat with the rest of the dates, adding more oil to the bowl as needed to keep the date balls covered. Set aside.
Put the lentils in a saucepan, add 6 cups (1.4 kilograms) cold water, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook the lentils for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring them from time to time.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water. Taste a lentil. When they have started to soften but are still firm in the center, drain them in a fine-mesh strainer, rinse them with cold water, and submerge them in the bowl of cold water until ready to use.
Remove the tough outer celery stalks and reserve them for another use. Pinch off the leaves from the inner stalks and place the leaves in a bowl of ice water. Cut the stalks into 1/8-inch dice; you need 1 cup (120 grams). Put the diced celery in a small bowl, toss with the olive oil and parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Once the soup has reduced, add the lentils; keep warm over low heat.
Whisk together the flour, water, and yeast in a small bowl and let sit at room temperature until foamy and bubbling, about 10 minutes.
Whisking constantly, add the flour mixture to the soup, then stir with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pot, as you bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. (High heat could cause the flour to stick to the bottom of the pot.) Simmer the soup gently, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt, remove the soup from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice.
Drain and dry the celery leaves. Using 2 soupspoons, form the celery salad into a quenelle or football shape and place toward the rim of each soup bowl. Stack about 8 date balls alongside each quenelle. (If you end up with extra date balls, keep them in the refrigerator and add them to salads.)
Carefully ladle the soup around the garnishes so that a bit of the celery salad and the date balls remain visible. Drizzle some of the olive oil that remains in the bowl of celery salad over the soup and garnish with the celery leaves.

Attribution for Recipes (CC BY-SA 3.0):


The recipes displayed in this app have been crated using content available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) license. The recipes are based on the following dataset:

[Food Ingredients and Recipes Dataset with Images]

[Dataset URL] 

License: CC BY-SA 3.0

We  would like to express our gratitude to the content creators who contributed to the dataset and shared their work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, allowing us to showcase and share these recipes with you.

bottom of page