The Bulgarian kitchen is heavily influenced by Mediterranean cooking, not a surprise since the neighboring Turks occupied it for 500 years. Greece is also a neighbor, along with Romania and Yugoslavia. Bulgarians favor the slow cooking of stews and soups. They use fresh vegetables, particularly tomatoes, sweet red peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes. My flat mate Miliana whom I lived with when I was an exchange student in Frankfurt often made this soup as a nutritious dinner for poor students. The perfect dish to get in touch with Bulgarian cooking!
1. Rinse the lentils. Chop the onion. Fry the onion until soft in a pan. add 1 liter of water, the stock cubes, lentils, paprika powder, salt the bay leaf, pressed garlic, and the tinned tomatoes.
2. Boil until the lentils are tender, approx 30-40 minutes for green lentils, 8-10 minutes for red. (Red lentils get yellow after cooking.)
add sugar and vinegar until it is to your taste. If you like it, it is nice with a bit of thyme as well.
Ingredients (serves 2):
* 2 dl lentils, green or red * 2 onions * oil for frying * water * 2 stock cubes * 1 spoon paprika powder * salt * 1 bay leaf * 1-2 gloves of garlic * 1 can tomatoes * 1/2 tbsp sugar * 1/2 tbsp vinegar * thyme