Cairo Comfort (Lentil) Soup

comfort & calm in a bowl

I know Cairo is normally not associated with comfort and calm – but this soup really embodies both Cairo and comfort for me. The last few days I have been feeling stress-in-anticipation. Tonight we visit the secondary school we hope Aars will go next year. I am anxious about their approach to managing anaphylaxis and severe food allergies – especially in their cooking classes and canteen…Tomorrow we are back at the hospital for another challenge day – peanuts! So there is quite a bit of nervous energy/STRESS hanging about me!

I need calming, comforting food; happily found in one delightful, very autumnal, cosy soup from my childhood in Cairo – lentil soup. It is argued by some Egyptians that this is “The Soup” Joseph sold his birth-right for – I know nor care not, but totally understand why they think it’s the one! This soup is lush. I add cayenne pepper as I like the little bit of heat it adds, but as a child we were always given it with just cumin flavouring the oil.

Cairo Comfort (Lentil) Soup – Ingredients

mixing in the dry red split lentils

olive oil, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, onion, celery, carrot, red split lentils, tomato paste, veg stock, salt, pepper, fresh lemon

Cairo Comfort (Lentil) Soup – Process – makes 4-6 bowls depending on how greedy you are/how big your bowls are! 

  • Chop the following:
    • 1 big white onion
    • 1 big stick of celery
    • 1 large carrot
  • Rinse ¾ lb dry red split lentils and leave to drain.
  • In a heavy based pan pour in a small amount of olive oil add:
    • 1 tsp cumin powder
    • ½ tsp cayenne pepper allow to heat and emit their fragrance
  • Saute the chopped onion, celery and carrot in the oil for about 7 mins
  • stir in:
    • ¾ lb dry red split lentils so they are covered in the spice and flavour
      double, double no toil nor trouble; fire burn & cauldron bubble
    • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • When these start to stick to the pan add:
    • 3 pints of veg stock (I use Swiss Bullion as it is fast, easy and tasty)
  • Stir in and then boil until the lentils go soft 20-30 mins
  • Liquidise
  • Add:
    • 1 lemon – (squeeze in it’s juice)
    • salt to taste
    • pepper to taste
  • Pour into bowl
  • I squeeze a bit more lemon juice on top along with a grind of salt and pepper
  • Get comfy and enjoy this thick, colourful, comforting soup


Hey, Many best wishes and good luck for the test tomorrow ! Hope everything works out well. Crossing my fingers and toes <3


thank you – I will let you know how it goes 🙂 the good thing is that the decision for Aars to do the challenge is based on his blood tests showing that he should be ok with the peanut/groundnut without its skin so it should be all ok – I just get a little stressed! thanks for the good wishes xx


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