Birthright Soup (Recipe)

Birthright Soup (Recipe)
Bowl of red lentil soup served with a lemon wedge.

Why did Esau sell his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of red lentils?

Prepare this recipe for “Birthright Soup” and then you’ll know.

Soup ingredients

1 large onion, chopped; 3 tablespoons olive oil; 3 cloves garlic, crushed; 1-1.5 teaspoons ground cumin; 1-1.5 teaspoons ground coriander; pinch of ground chili pepper; 1 cup split red lentils; bunch of celery leaves, chopped; 1 carrot, finely chopped; 2 quarts of chicken stock or vegetarian equivalent; salt and pepper; juice of 0.5-1 lemon.

Soup Garnish

1 – 2 large onions, sliced; 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; 1-1.5 pita breads to make croutons (optional); 3 lemons, quartered, to serve with.


Soften onion in oil in a large saucepan.  Add garlic, cumin, coriander, and chili pepper and stir.  Add lentils, celery leaves, and carrot, cover with stock, and simmer 30-45 minutes, until the lentils have disintegrated.  Add salt and pepper and water if the soup needs thinning.  It should be quite thin like light cream.  Stir in lemon juice. For garnish, fry onions in oil, covered at first, over low heat, stirring often until crisp and very brown, almost caramelized.  Split and open out pita breads and toast in oven or under broiler, turning them over once, until crisp and lightly browned.  Break into small pieces with your hands to make croutons. Serve the soup very hot.  Garnish each serving with a tablespoon of fried onions and pass the lemon wedges and croutons, if you like for people to help themselves.  (Serves 6-8)

Source: received from an unknown cookbook from Dr. Hardin Rubin. If you recognize the recipe and know the source, please let me know!

For more perspectives on Parshat Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9) click here

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