500g (1 lb) red lentils
1.8 l (3 pints) meat or chicken stock
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pinch of Cayenne (optional but good)

Put lentils in a large pot with stock and Bring to a boil.
Remove any scum and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils disintegrate.
Add salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne when the lentils begin to soften.
Add water if it gets too thick.
Garnish with fried onions and garlic flavored with coriander, parsley or dill, pita and a lemon wedge.

This recipe requires a good tasting stock. DON'T use cubes!!

To make chicken stock:
Get some chicken bones from your local butcher or save and freeze them when you de-bone chicken breasts.
Prepare a mirepoix (chopped carrots, onions or shallots, celery or celery root (preferable, also known as celeriac) and garlic) exact quantities depend on the volume of stock you are making and your own personal taste.
Sweat the mirepoix on medium head with a little oil(let the veggies cook alone for a while)
If using fresh bones , add them to the mirepoix and heat them up.
Do not do this for frozen bones and meat as too much blood will be released later and cloud the stock.
When the bones are hot, add very cold water (as much as you want, depends on how much bones you have).
Add a few peppercorns and whatever other herb and spice you like (oregano is nice)Simmer for 3-4 hours removing scum frequently.
Strain stock through a couple layers of cheesecloth.