This is my favorite easy soup to prepare. All of the ingredients are shelf-stable and only the onions and lemon are perishable. I don’t know all the measurements for this, taste as you go!
Dice onions. Cover the bottom of a large pot with olive oil, and heat it up. Add onions when the oil is hot enough to sizzle, but before it starts smoking. Stir onions around for a few minutes, until they start to soften.
Add a bit of salt and pepper. Add rice and lentils and stir it around. Add a lot of cumin, I’d estimate 2 tablespoons. Add about 8 cups of water, at least enough to cover the ingredients. Put a lid on the pot, stirring it around every few minutes. It’ll cook for about an hour in total.
As it cooks, taste the broth to check for saltiness and cumin flavor, and add more salt and cumin as needed. You can also add more olive oil for more flavor! When the lentils are soft and the water is mostly absorbed, it’s ready! If it’s too dry, add more water. If it’s too watery, cook for longer. Serve into individual bowls and sqeeze fresh lemon to taste. Goes good with bread.
Variation: add around 5 peeled garlic cloves around the 30 minute mark. They’ll get soft and sweet.
I credit my father, Newman Abuissa, for the recipe!