Especially when the weather has taken a turn for the cool and crisp. This is "maushauwa" - a traditional afghan soup and is one of my very favourites.
1/2 cup brown lentils
1/2 cup green or yellow split peas
1/2 cup long grain rice
8 cups water
1 can kidney beans
600g ground beef or lamb
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 lightly beaten egg
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion - finely chopped
3 garlic cloves crushed
1 can diced tomatoes
1-2 cups Chaka (plain yoghurt with freshly minced garlic + mint)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves and parsley for serving
Put lentils and split peas in large saucepan and cover with 6 cups of water. Bright to boil and reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add rice and continute cooking 15 - 20 minutes until lentils, peas and rice are tender. Set aside.
Prepare meatballs: cover baking sheet with wax paper. Put meat in mixing bowl, add cinnamon, cumin, ground red pepper. breadcrumbs, light beaten egg, olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste. Then using your hands, mix well. Pinch off about 1 tbsp of mixture and roll into a ball - place all the balls side by side on the baking paper.
Prepare sauce. heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and saute until soft. Add crushed garlic and meatballs and fry. Cook until firm and brown. Add to saucepan with kidney beans, tomatoes and remaining 2 cups of water. Gently stir and bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
To serve: place soup in bowls and sprinkle generously with chaka and chopped mint and parsley.
Aside from enjoying soup, crisp weather, blue skies and being inundated with essays (why is it that they are always due in the SAME week?) - I have been busying sewing and printing for another shop update in the next few days - so eyes peeled dear friends...