Omer Recipes 2017: Day 49 | Jacob’s Lentil Stew

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Cap off counting of the Omer by joining us for Shavuot Ice Cream Study led by Howard Shatz: “Out of the Desert: The origins and future of the Islamic State (and what it means for Israel)”, Tuesday, May 30, 8:30pm (at the home of Rabbi Bass).
Today is 49 days, which is 7 weeks of the Omer

Instructions for counting the omer are found on our Omer Overview Page. You can find the specific blessing for today at

And here’s today’s recipe, contributed by Ben S..

Jacob’s Lentil Stew


  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro (coriander), divided
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks, including leaves
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups dry red lentils
  • 1/4 cup pearl barley (omit for GF)
  • 2 qts. vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp hyssop or parsley
  • 1/2 tsp sumac (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Roughly chop the cilantro. Scrub the carrots, then cut them into chunks (do not peel). Cut celery into chunks, including leaves. Reserve.
  • In a medium sized soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute till translucent.
  • Add garlic, carrot chunks, and celery. Continue to saute till onion turns golden and ingredients begin to caramelize. Add red lentils and barley to the pot, stir. Cover mixture with 2 qts. of broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add 1/4 cup of the fresh cilantro to the pot along with the cumin, hyssop or parsley, sumac (optional) and bay leaf; stir.
  • Cover the pot and let the stew simmer slowly for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes, until barley is tender and the stew is thickened.
This recipe was devloped by Tori Avey as an authentic version of the stew Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for. It’s meticulously researched, see the full description here:

Gluten Free Modification: Omit the barley for a more soup-like texture, or substitute 1/4 cup brown rice for the barley. Rice is not a Biblical-era grain, but it makes a delicious substitute for those struggling with Celiac or gluten intolerance.

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