Compared to other types of dried beans, lentils are relatively quick and easy to prepare. They readily absorb a variety of wonderful flavors from other foods and seasonings, are high in nutritional value and are available throughout the year.
Unlike other legumes, lentils cook quickly without pre-soaking. Just make sure to rinse away any dirt, dust or debris before adding them to recipes. Lentils work well in soups, stews and salads. Or you boil them for 15 to 30 minutes, add turmeric, ginger or other seasonings, and serve over rice or mix with other vegetables and enjoy.
Here's an easy and delicious Lentil Soup...
3 cups lentils, any type
7 cups water or stock (more as needed)
1 to 2 Tbl. canola oil or butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup minced celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 Tbl. minced garlic
1 Â½ to 2 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
a few pinches of dried herbs (thyme, oregano, or basil)
2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbl. dry red wine (optional)
2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbl. molasses or brown sugar
Red wine vinegar for the top
Minced scallions for the top (optional)
Place the lentils and water in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Bring
to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and let cook until the
lentils are mushy (about 45 minutes). Add more water as
needed, until the soup is your favorite consistency.
Heat the oil or melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet. Add
the onion, celery, and carrots, and sautÃ© over medium heat for
about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, 1 tsp. salt, pepper, and
herbs of your choice, and sautÃ© about 5 minutes longer.
Transfer to the lentils.
Stir in the wine, if desired, the lemon juice and the molasses
or brown sugar. Taste to correct seasonings, then simmer for
at least 15 minutes longer. Serve hot, with a little vinegar
drizzled onto each serving, and a sprinkling of minced
scallions on top, if desired.
Number of Servings: 6