Sponsored: TV chef Manal Alalem shares an indulgent lentil soup recipe using US Cheese…

Middle Eastern TV chef Manal Alalem has teamed up with the USA Cheese Guild to create a range of tempting recipes for Ramadan. At 3pm every Thursday during Ramadan, Manal will be hosting live cooking sessions on Instagram and Youtube, where she’ll demonstrate how to create delicious Middle Eastern dishes using cheeses from the USA.

First up is this indulgent recipe for lentil soup gratin, topped with a golden layer of US mozzarella and cheddar cheese. You can watch Manal Alalem cooking the lentil soup gratin live on Instagram or Youtube, then try the dish for yourself using the recipe below.

To cook the recipe yourself, look for US cheeses in major retailers in the UAE, including Lulu Hypermarket, Carrefour and Choithrams. Be on the lookout for the ‘Cheese from the USA’ seal.

Lentil soup gratin recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes / Cook time: 1¼ hours / Serves 4


  • 1 cup lentils, soaked in warm water for 20 min, drained
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp dried coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, chopped into 1cm cubes
  • 1½ cups potato, peeled, chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 6 cups water
  • 150g (1½ cups) shredded US mozzarella cheese
  • 80g (¾ cup) shredded US cheddar cheese
  • 1 bunch chard, washed and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped


  1. In a soup pot, sweat the onion in olive oil over medium to low heat for about 5 minutes until translucent. Season with salt and black pepper.
  2. Add garlic, coriander, cumin, carrot, potato and tomato paste to the onions and stir for another 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the water in a saucepan or using a kettle.
  4. Pour the boiling water into the soup pot and add the chard and lentils. Simmer, covered, on low heat for about 1 hour. Remove lid and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C (or 390°F).
  6. Mix US mozzarella and US cheddar in a bowl.
  7. Pour the soup into ramequins and sprinkle the top with US cheese mix. Put the ramequins on a baking tray and bake in the top part of the oven until cheese is golden brown.
  8. Serve hot with a fresh coriander sprinkle on top.

For more delicious recipes using cheeses from the USA, follow USA Cheese Guild ME on Instagram. US cheeses are available in the UAE at Lulu Hypermarket, Carrefour and Choithrams; in Kuwait at The Sultan Centre and Lulu Hypermarket; in KSA at Tamimi Markets, Danube and Manuel, and in Bahrain and Oman in Lulu Hypermarkets.

Images: Supplied/Instagram