Monday, 14 September 2009

A couple of recipes

I love green beans.  I can eat them cooked or raw.  One of my favourite recipes is Green Beans in Olive Oil.

Cover the bottom of a large pan with olive oil.  Add a large chopped onion, one chopped bell pepper and a large peeled and chopped tomato and sautee gently.  Add a kilo of prepared green beans, a pinch of salt and a dessertspoon of sugar.  Add a little water...not too much..just enough to steam the beans.  Bring to the boil, then simmer for about an hour until the beans are soft.  Stir occasionally to make sure all the beans are being cooked.

This recipe is delicious hot or cold, and lovely with garlic yogurt.

There are lots of recipes around for Mercimek (or lentil) soup, but mine is very easy.  My Turkish husband tells me it's the best mercimek he's it must be OK  (unless of course he's just trying to please me!).

I never measure out quantities but it doesn't really matter because if your soup is too thick you can water it down. 

Place some red lentils in a large pan, add chicken or vegetable stock if you have it, or water.  Bring the lentils to the boil and simmer for about half an hour. 

In a separate pan, sautee some chopped onion in butter or margarine.   When soft add some flour and mix into a paste.  Add this to the soup carefully, to make sure it doesn't stay in lumps...a whisk is good for this.
Carry on simmering the soup for another half an hour, stirring occasionally, and at the same time adding seasoning...salt and black pepper....or one or two stock cubes.

The Turks serve mercimek soup with a sprinkling of crushed red pepper (or chilli flakes) and a little lemon juice.

Mercimek soup freezes well and almost seems to taste better on defrosting and re-heating.



  1. Thanks for this recipe.
    I do different things with lentils....... put them into stews and add a bit of chilli.

  2. My grandmother used to make a stew with 90% green beans, 5% tomato, 5% "chouriço", which is a Portuguese smoked meat sausage. It used to be one of my favourite foods - and I'd kind of forgotten about it. Thank you for the reminder! I think we will see the revival of the green bean stew, this week, in the astro kitchen.
    And thank you for the lentil soup recipe. We don't use a lot of lentils - but we do a lot of soup, especially in the winter, so this will be tried out soon.

  3. Maggie...yes lentils are very good for adding to stews.

    Astro: I like the sound of your grandmother's stew. I think I might give that a go as we have something very similar to chouriço...called sucuk.

  4. Ayak, love the sound of these, especially the garlic youghurt, all that gorgeous fresh fruit you have, and veg.

    Will try that lentil soup, love anything like that.

  5. both these sound yummy - the first one I could have done with about a month or so go. One of our neighbours brought over a humungous bag of white (green) beans and they went off before I'd managed to get a third of the way through. I suppose I should have googled different things to do with them and then frozen them but I like things to fall into my lap - like these two good ones here.

    I know it's a Moroccan thing but do you ever use a tagine? I don't know whether to get one - I do like how they look but do they do the job?

  6. I have beans in the house right now. I will surely try this out! Great recipes. I love trying out new recipes from diff countries.

    ♥ Chaitra

  7. Ann: We yogurt with so many savoury dishes...I always chop the garlic very roughly because I love it and like to taste the big chunks.

    FF: Whenevever I get too many vegetables I automatically freeze them. I don't even bother to blanch them first and they are ok.
    A tagine is a kind of clay pot isn't it? We have something called a guvec which I think is similar and is very good for slow cooking seems to tenderise meat quite well.

    Chaitra: Well I'm pleased I chose today to post my bean recipe!

  8. Apologies for typos and other brain seems a bit out of sync with my fingers today!!

  9. I love that bean recipe..we still have some so I'll try it.
    Mr. Fly likes a salad of green beans, cooked just al dente, then mixed with finely chopped onion and mayonnaise while still hot and allowed to cool.

    I make lentil soup, but I don't thcken it...just make thick soup, I suppose, then either finish it with chili and lemon, or with ground cumin.

    It is good of you to share these makes me start looking at my cooking routines and get out of the rut.

    Thank you.

  10. Fly: I think it must be the time of year because I'm also looking at cooking routines and sorting out old recipes that I haven't used for a while. It is easy to get into a rut with cooking.

  11. Well, Ayak, this is the first time I've been able to get into your comment box in a number of days. I've been trying off and on. I loved those recipes. I'm going to try them. We eat a vegetarian diet owing to the culture of my in laws and I'm a big fan of both green beans and lentils!

  12. Oh I am so glad you reminded me of the lentil soup! T is away today for for a fortnight, and I love to make (and eat!)lots of soups and salads when I'm on my own. I may make the lentil soup and eat the green beans cold as a "salad"!

    Thank you for your recipes.

  13. I love Turkish soups and I am not generally a lover of soups. I always try and have a soup when I am at Bül Bül, I love the lemon and chili flakes.

    I can´t use the recipe´s right now, but I will certainly try them in the future.

    Thanks Ayak.

  14. Gaelikaa, Truestarr and Amagerican:

    I'm pleased that my recipes are going to be used by others..I hope you enjoy them xxx

  15. Ayak - can you drop over to my blog - well, either of them! I have a tiny little tag for you, the post is on 'gaelikaa's diary'.


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