No pantry should be without these fabulous legumes…they are super simple to prepare, inexpensive, and versatile. Plus, no soaking is required, they are quick cooking, nutritious and tasty – what’s not to love? Give ’em a go with this easy lentil soup recipe…
Never cooked lentils before? Have no fear. Three easy steps and they’re ready to go. Simple ~ really…
Any amount of lentils can be cooked in this way. Just keep the ratio the same… Most recipes call for a 2C (water) to 1C (lentil) ratio, though I like to add 1 more cup water into the ratio. So, double the water, plus one cup. That’s it.
How to prepare and cook lentils;
1. Wash lentils – measure 1.5 cup lentils into strainer. Pick over – remove any debris, rocks, shriveled or ‘bad’ lentils. Thoroughly rinse under running water.
2. Pour rinsed lentils into saucepan and add 4 cups water. Add bay leaf.
3. Cook. Bring water to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, uncovered. Add water if needed to ensure the lentils are just barely covered – this is why I add the extra cup of water in the beginning…to prevent possible burning…
4. Lentils are cooked once tender and no longer crunchy…strain lentils (if necessary) and remove bay leaf. Return to pan and add a generous pinch of salt or more to your taste.
They will stay fresh in your fridge for about a week (or freeze for longer storage – add a bit of cooking liquid or stock if freezing) Season with olive oil, herbs, lemon juice, vinegar and enjoy them on their own or add to curries and serve with rice or make lentil soup.
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic – chopped
1 cup minced celery
1 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup freshly chopped tomatoes, or canned whole tomatoes, chopped or as I did – crushed tomatoes (I didn’t’ have fresh or whole) – they all work.
2.5 cup vegetable or chicken stock
2-4 Tbsp. lemon juice (depending on taste)
2 Tbsp. wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 cups cooked lentils
What to do;
Prepare 1.5 cups dry lentils (see above)
Add veggies to lentils, be sure to get all the ‘juices’… Stir.
Add stock. Stir and simmer 20 minutes over low heat.
Add tomatoes (whichever type you have on hand), lemon juice, and wine vinegar. Stir and simmer another 10-15 minutes.
Season with coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Simmer on low 10 minutes. Taste and season as preferred…
Top with freshly grated parmesan, feta, goat cheese or a dollop of plain yogurt…add some freshly chopped parsley, thyme or basil, a bit more freshly cracked pepper and voila – deliciousness is served.
Also, a spritz of fresh lemon juice can be added just before serving!
Simple. Hearty. Warming.