Thursday, 10 March 2011

Armenian Soup

This recipe is from my oldest and most favourite cookbook : The Cranks Recipe Book by David Canter, Kay Canter and Daphne Swan.
My copy is from 1982!
As I said it's my first cookbook.
Cranks was a wholefood cafe and restaurant in Covent Garden in London for a long time.
It was not fashionable for a long time either.
The food was wholewheat and in most cases brown and a bit of a shock for most people's palates.
But for me, brought up in a family where white flour and processed food are kings it was a revelation.
I spent my pocket money as a teenager buying vegetables and tofu and wholewheat flour. We weren't well off and my parents didn't want to buy food they considered weird and scary.
I was the first to bring an onion into the house!
And a mushroom!
This book revolutionised what food I ate and taught me how to cook.
There are few pictures and so I learnt to not worry about how it was supposed to look and let myself learn from what came out.
Armenian Soup
red lentils, rinsed (100g)
dried apricots, unsulphured if poss (100g)
2 large potatoes
vegetable stock (around 2-3 pints) - his needs judging by your own preference of thin or gloopy
lemon, juice of one
ground cumin (2tsp)
parsley, chopped (6tbsp) - I often don't have fresh parsley and so just leave it out, it's still fine
salt & pepper to taste
Place lentils and apricots in a large pan.
Roughly chop the spud and add to the pan with the remaining ingredients.
Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for around 30 minutes, checking regularly that the lentils aren't soaking up all the stock and making it all burn (I speak from experience! Do not take a bath and leave this soup cooking).
Add more hot water or stock if so.
Allow to cool and blend until smooth.
Reheat to serving temperature and adjust seasoning to taste.
Serves 4-6
This freezes well and is fine left for a day in the fridge, although you will need to add more water as it thickens too.
I love it.
Mr Muffinmoon loves it.
My Knit & Natter group love it.
Frank falls to the floor clutching his throat and gagging at the mere sight of any soup.


  1. Haha on Frank. I was waiting for the line "And Frank LOVES it!" :)

    It sounds delish. Joe loves soups. Bridget, not so much.

  2. Hi - I just found your blog (via Salt and Chocolate) and couldn't resist looking around because I live in the next town to yours - Ipswich! Your little boy looks gorgeous.

    I LURVE armenian soup. I first had it at my best friends house when I was a teenager and it was different to anything I'd ever had before. It became a joke that I ate three bowlfuls and cried real tears when there was no more left. I am still teased for that 20 years later!

  3. Whip some up and I'll be right over!!!!!

  4. Thanks for the post. This is my fave soup from that same book and I couldn't be bothered to find it- good to see it online. My Mum refused to buy me food when I went veggie so Cranks was the only source of a plate of goodness mid 80's!! Anyway, must go check on it now...Vee