I found this lentil soup recipe earlier in the year, and bookmarked it to try. Yesterday I woke to a foggy sky, wet grass, and I contemplated turning on the heater. Soup season has officially begun.
I got the funniest email back in July from Kathy, who wanted me to cook with lentils. She forwarded this great article from the Seattle Times about how healthy and packed-full of protein lentils are. They're cheap, too.
I'm embarrassed to admit that I have never cooked or even bought lentils before the other day. When I emailed Kathy about not even knowing where to find them in the grocery store, she wrote back:
Stephanie…MUST I come THERE and accompany you to the grocery store?? :-) (How I would LOVE that! Any excuse to escape up-coming move.) You should be able to find “some” lentils on the same shelf as rice – look to the BOTTOM shelf, of course, as they are not particularly popular in this country. As the writer of the article I sent you clarifies, different types of lentils equal different flavors and textures, so you must experiment. Also, you might try the soup aisle, but, if you’re in a HURRY, ASK the sales clerk!Kathy is a smart lady. The dude at Whole Foods brought me right to the display. I chose the green ones.
--1 cup dried lentils
--1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
--1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
--1 onion, chopped
--2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
--1/2 cup chopped celery
--1/2 cup chopped carrots
--28 oz can of diced tomatoes (and juice)
--4 cups vegetable broth
--1 1/2 tsp garam masala
--1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
--1/2 tsp cumin
--1/4 tsp nutmeg
--1/4 tsp cinnamon
--1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
Use at least a 5 quart crockpot for this. It makes a lot.
Chop up all of your vegetables and add them to the crockpot. If you are rushed in the morning, consider chopping the vegetables at night---it took me longer than I wanted it to. Drain and rinse off the beans, add to the pot. Add the dried lentils. Grate your ginger, and add it along with the dried spices. Stir in the vegetable broth and tomatoes.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Soup tastes best the longer you cook it, and it is even better the next day.
Before serving, use an immersible blender and pulse to blend some of the vegetables and beans together. This isn't necessary, but it really improves the texture of the soup and melds the flavors nicely.
Adam and I really liked this a lot and are excited to have a bunch left for lunches throughout the week. This makes a lot of food, but I've learned through this year that many times soups, stews, and chili dishes taste better the next day than they do on cooking day.
The kids were not interested. They're kind of done with the crockpot.