Old Baku and lentil-mushroom soup
We walked along the autumn Baku street - high arches of entrances, trays with feijoa and grenades, men smoking on stools in front of backgammon, ropes with linen between houses, evening yellow lantern circles. I knew that this was the wrong side, a rare Baku street in the center, where the houses had not yet been repaired, had not been tiled, and had not been torn down. With that side that went out onto the avenue, the house was smiling with a beautiful facade, and it was even impossible to imagine that inside you could find such a way of life, such an old Baku cosiness.
It was late and already dark. Ehtiram and I walked from work. He escorted me to the hotel and showed me the city — he specially brought this soft and unprotected gut of a real, old, almost no survivor to Baku. Feet buzzed, we earned and did not eat all day.
- There is one place where you definitely need to eat soup. Come on!
I walked, inspecting two-meter access doors with old thread-weaving. Their lace kept hundreds of stories of this street plunged into oblivion. Knocked backgammon. From the sky a little dripping. The wind of Baku never ceased.
- Soup ... soup will be just right now!
- a glass of red lentils;
- 300 g mushrooms;
- two medium bulbs;
- one carrot;
- olive oil;
- dried mint;
I love this soup very much with green lentils - it is more dense and heavy and gives a special nutty flavor; but if you make soup with it, then the lentil needs to be soaked beforehand, and it is cooked much longer - a couple of hours. The recipe scheme itself will be slightly different.
Personally, instead of mint, I love lemon balm, but this is a matter of taste.
Sumy is a spice made from ground berries of the same name plant. In Azerbaijan, it is customary for them to spice up meat dishes, but what is important is ready. If you don’t find anything terrible, you can do without it.
This is not a classic Azerbaijani recipe, but rather his homemade variation that is insanely tasty, which my favorite Baku residents taught me.
- Rinse red lentils well, pour in boiling water. When it boils, fold the lentils into a colander, rinse. Water pour. Thanks to washing - after the meal will not blow the stomach. Then put the lentils back into the pan and add water (a little higher than two fingers of the swollen lentils). Add half a teaspoon of turmeric for color. Cook over medium heat (10-15 minutes).
- In parallel, clean one of the bulbs, cut them into 4 parts. Peel carrots and cut into small circles. Throw in the pan with the lentils with the onions after you have washed them for the second time. Let stew together until cooked lentils.
- Mushrooms mushrooms cut into large chunks (in any case, do not chop them - when frying, they will not be juicy and overdry!). Cut the second onion into half rings.
- Heat the olive oil. Throw in onions and mushrooms and fry over medium heat until ready. It is very important not to overcook - mushrooms should remain voluminous and juicy.
- In a blender to the sticks, boiled lentils with onions, carrots and broth, pour the mushrooms into the same place. Add a little salt and olive oil. Beat the blender into a homogeneous mash-like mass.
- If the soup is very thick, add a little boiled water and mix well. Attention - when the soup cools down and stands a little, it will become much thicker.
- When serving in each plate, squeeze some lemon juice, sprinkle with dried mint and add a pinch of sumac.
Nush Olsun, as they say in Azerbaijan, or bon appetit!
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