Tag Archives: lentils

two notes-to-self

A couple things I’ve made, and made changes to, that I’ve enjoyed recently:

1.  Molly O’Neill’s Roasted Carrot and Red Lentil soup, via The Wednesday Chef.  I followed the recipe almost exactly the first time- doubled the paprika and introduced a little immersion blender action- and loved every bite.   A month or so later found myself with a small butternut squash, a lonely sweet potato, and some straggler carrots at the bottom of my crisper, but craving a creamy, bulky soup.  The combo of the three orange veggies worked just as well as the all-carrot version, immersion blender and all.  But as I sat down with the first bowl, and I felt it was missing… something.  A couple teaspoons of lemon juice stirred in at the end fixed it, and really brightened things up.

2.  Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins at Joy The Baker.  She used blueberries; I used a large peeled-and-chopped Honeycrisp and tripled the cinnamon.  Very welcome at the office on a chilly day. Healthy-ish too!

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Fall, Vegetables, Winter

red lentil soup with lemon

I knew I had to make this soup as soon as I read Molly’s description of it. “Sings”? A quiet soup that “sings”?!  Um, yeah, I want that.

Making this soup really made me happy. It was easy- a handful of pantry staples in a fresh new soup. One pot, one immersion blender, one hour, and done. It’s filling; it looks like fall; and it smells like home.

I enjoyed my first 4 or 5 bites with the olive oil “garnish” as suggested by Melissa, but went back and sprinkled with a touch of cayenne. The spice really complimented the warmth of the soup and freshness of the lemon. Do not skip the lemon.

And the orange kitty. Don’t skip the kitty.

I froze the remainder of the soup and had it warmed for supper tonight. Honestly, it’s better when it’s first made. The lemon was nearly indetectable, so I would suggest stirring in a bit of lemon juice to taste if having this for leftovers.

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon
adapted from Melissa Clark, via Orangette

Serves 3-4

2 T. olive oil
1 large yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 T. tomato paste
1 t. cumin
1/2 to 1 t. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. cayenne
1 quart plus 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1 c. water
1 c. red lentils, picked over
2 large carrots, diced
juice of 1/2 large lemon

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium.  Add the chopped onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt and pepper, and cayenne; continue cooking over medium and stir 5-6 more minutes.

Add in the stock, water, lentils, and carrots. Bring to a boil and reduce heat as needed to keep at a gentle simmer for 35-40 minutes.  In a food processor or blender, or with an immersion blender, roughly blend the soup, but not completely smooth.  Reheat if necessary and add salt to taste; stir in lemon juice, and serve with a few drops of olive oil or a sprinkle of cayenne and kosher salt.


Filed under Clean Eating, Gluten-Free, Soups, Vegetarian, Winter

red lentil and sweet potato curried soup

I love sweet potatoes, particularly because they’re delicious, healthy, and versatile. sweet? spicy? Creamily mashed as a comfort food or cut into fries as the perfect end-of-the-week burger accoutrement. It all works for this orange tuber.

But I’ve been wary of curry and sweet potatoes. I’ve seen offerings at restaurants, read recipes in magazines and online, and not once have thought the combination sounded appealing…. until this week. Monday night at 8:30pm, I decided to suddenly forge into the unknown of using a Thanksgiving staple in an Indian-inspired dish- and I’m so glad I did!

This recipe has, in my humble opinion, the right amount of kick. I’m not a hot-for-the-sake-of-hot person, but I love the complexity of Indian spices. The equal parts curry powder and ginger, plus a kick of cayenne and cardamom on the side, make this a perfect mid-day meal for me. The soft textures and warmth of the soup are relaxing, while the flavor reflects the sunniness of spring.

Did I mention how quick this is?! I had the idea to make this soup at 8:30, and by 9:30 – one measly hour later – had my kitchen cleaned up and the soup cooling, covered on the stovetop. That easy!

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curried Soup
Inspired by The Daily Green

2 medium or 1 large sweet potato, skin on and cut into 1″ pieces
2 cups red lentils
2 cups veggie or chicken stock
1/2 onion, sliced or chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced or minced
1 T. high quality curry powder
1 T. grated or minced ginger
1 t. coriander
1 t. cumin
1/2 to 1 t. cayenne (optional)
ground black pepper, sea salt or kosher salt (to taste)
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1/2 c. green peas, fresh or frozen
unsweetened shredded coconut, dried or toasted (optional)

Wash and pick over the lentils. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add the lentils, and simmer for 10 minutes.

While waiting, sautee onions in oil on medium-high until translucent. Add garlic and spices and sautee for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the celery and peas and sautee for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.

Once the lentils have been boiling for 10 minutes, drain most of the boiling liquid. Pour in the 2 cups of stock plus 2 cups of water. Add the sweet potato; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes to soften potatoes. Stir in the sauteed veggies and spices and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the texture you desire. Longer = softer. (I personally prefer to only simmer until the potatoes are fork-ready, as I like the crispness of celery and don’t like the potatoes mushy).

Remove from heat, cover, and allow to cool at room temperature for a few hours or overnight. Garnish with coconut (optional). If this is too spicy for you or you like a creamier texture, plain yogurt is a great stir-in.

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Filed under Clean Eating, Main dishes, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Veggies and lentils and chicken, oh my

It’s officially fall in Wisconsin, if anyone was wondering. It’s rainy, the treetops are gorgeous, and a sweater or cardigan is no longer quite enough coverage to provide warmth during the morning commute. So, like a crazy man, N decides he needs to celebrate the 40-degree weather by going out on the water in numerous long-sleeved t-shirts and attempt to bring home supper. This act is affectionately known in our house as “bringing home the fish-bacon.”

fish + bacon ?

So N leaves mid-afternoon and stays out on the water, holding a stick tied to some string dangling in the water, until it’s very dark and cold, and then comes home… usually empty-handed. That means I get the kitchen (and the TV/DVD player) to myself! Hurrah!

lentils hanging out near the celery


My midriff = not buff. I’ve been eating a lot more meat now that I’m eating with N, and that’s not necessary or good for my pants buttons. So I made a flex-soup of lentils and veggies we had around the house, and added cooked shredded chicken to half of it, just to appease the hub’s man-eating urges. Pretty much any veggie can be subbed: wilted spinach or other greens, green beans, cooked firm squash or sweet potato, etc. Work with what ya got, people!

Flexible lentil soup

1/2 pound of dried lentils
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3+ cups of chopped or sliced veggies– I used carrots, a couple of small potatoes, and 3 ribs of celery
5 cups chicken broth
2 T. tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
salt & pepper to taste

sauteeing the carroten

Rinse and sort the lentils. I usually let mine soak in a little water, and I sift them in the water with my hands just to clean them up a little. Sautee the onion and garlic in a pot with some EVOO, just until soft. Add 1/2 c. of the broth and any raw veggies to the pot; let simmer/sautee in small amount of broth for 5- 10 minutes. Pour in another 1-2 cups of broth, the seasonings, and the lentils; keep at a slow simmer for 10 minutes, until lentils have soaked up much of the broth and thickened the mixture. Add the tomato paste and remainder of the brother and stir to incorporate the t-paste. (I also added some fresh chopped parsley and another minced clove of garlic at this point) Let simmer for at least 20 minutes, or however long you like, adding additional liquid as desired.

T-paste FTW

I had it simmering on the stove for over 2 hours as I waited for N to get home, and had to add an additional cup of water to keep it the consistency that I was looking for.

wafty steam= tastiness

If you or your H prefer meat, you can add in any cooked meat to the soup once the lentils and veggies are fully cooked. Enjoy!

fuzzy, because my P&S from 2004 is teh suck.

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Filed under Clean Eating, Main dishes, Soups, Vegetables