Week 1 Syrian Lentil Soup and Vegetarian Chili

M’jadara (Lentil Soup)


2 medium onions coarsely chopped

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Cup green lentils (rinsed)

1 Cup long grain white rice such as basmiti or jasmine

2-3 quarts water

1 teaspoon cumin

Salt to taste – about 1 teaspoon

Black Pepper to taste – about ½ teaspoon

1 large cube vegetable bouillon (optional) or I like 1 Tablespoon of “Better Than Bullion”

Optional ingredients:

1 cup diced carrots – recommended

1 cup diced potatoes

½ cup chopped celery

1 zucchini diced – recommended


  1. In a large soup pot cook onions and other vegetables in olive oil until soft, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add cumin and stir for 1 minute
  3. Add lentils and water and cook over medium heat until tender (about 20 minutes).
  4. Add rice and seasoning and cook for another 15 minutes until rice is soft.
  5. Serve with chopped sweet raw onions – optional

Note: There are many versions of this dish for a thicker casserole like consistency cut water back to 2 quarts.

You can experiment by adding grated carrots or chopped potatoes, celery, and zucchini.



2 TBS Olive Oil

1 large onion diced

1 red bell pepper diced

1 yellow bell pepper diced

1 jalapeno pepper diced small

1 cup of carrots diced

1 sweet potato cubed

2 cloves garlic minced

1 large can of diced tomatoes or diced fire roasted tomatoes

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp oregano

¼ tsp. cayenne

1 15 oz. can black beans drained and rinsed

1 15 oz. can kidney or pinto beans drained and rinsed

2 cups vegetarian broth

1 cup frozen corn

2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven.  Add onion, red and yellow bell peppers, jalapeno, carrots and sweet potato and saute about 7 min.
  2. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth, drained and rinsed beans and corn.
  4. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally, reduce heat and simmer about 30 min until thickened
  5. Remove 1 to 2 cups of thickened chili and blend in a food processor or blender and add back to pot.
  6. Remove from heat and add 2 Tablespoons of your favorite vinegar and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. Serve with your favorite toppings; shredded cheese, sour cream, crumbled tortilla chips, etc.