This step is optional but I was having some beer while making dinner... You may choose your own poison.
1-1/2 tsp dried basil
1 Tbs ground coriander seed
1 cup brown lentils, picked over and washed
1 Tbs bouillon powder or 1 cube
1 bay leaf
8 cups water
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb baby spinach or chopped spinach, fresh or frozen, or other greens such as chard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup broken vermicelli or other soup noodles
Wash the lentils and place in a soup pot with the bay leaf, bouillon powder or cube and water, and simmer until the lentils are almost tender - about 35 minutes. Simmer so the lentils don't get mushy. While the lentils are simmering heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion. Add the basil, coriander, and garlic to the onions; salt and pepper and continue to sauté until the onion starts to caramelize. Add the sautéed onions to the pot, bring back to a simmer. Add in the pasta and simmer for a couple of minutes while you wash and chop the spinach. Add the spinach and taste for salt and pepper. When the pasta is done, the soup is ready to eat. Rishta may be served with a squeeze of lemon juice in each individual bowl. This made about 4 servings.