A simple lentil soup can mean the world to some people…. like me for example. For a long time I’ve had an affair with lentils, I don’t know when it started and I doubt it will ever end. Lentils just taste delicious. They might not look that pretty, but they do taste absolutely great. I don’t puree them (you should if you like), because I like the texture but that makes them less appetizing looking. Anyways, let’s agree on this, a plate of lentils isn’t the best looking thing in the world but it is damn tasty and it is full of good nutrients, specially fiber which after having been baking pastries for the last week or two, I desperately need. Another great thing about lentils, they take no time to prepare. I cook plenty of different legumes regularily and lentils are one of the fastest to break down. Tonight’s post will be quick, I really need to get some sleep, I seriously do! Here’s my new lentil recipe post and I hope you enjoy it! :
Ingredients (makes 2 servings):
1 cup of dry lentils
1 cup of chicken stock or half a chicken bouillon (or your awesome homemade stock)
2 cloves of garlic
1 shallot diced small
50g bacon diced small
1 tsp of ground coriander seeds
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 russet potato medium dice
1 red bell pepper roasted
1 yellow pepper small dice
1 Tbsp tomato paste
a few sprigs of thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Soak the lentils before you start your mise en place. It will speed up the cooking time a bit this way you make sure you remove any grit, etc. I love making this, one pot is all you need.
Add the bacon to your cooking vessel like a stainless steel pot or dutch oven, and render the fat until the bacon is crispy and golden, medium heat. Add the yellow pepper, shallot and tomato paste and cook until slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Strain the lentils and add them to the pot. You could cook the lentils until they start to brown but just barely.
Add the garlic and cook for a minute, don’t let the garlic go brown. Add the cumin and coriander seed. Add the chicken stock. Add enough water. You want adjust the water as the lentils cook. Lentils will probably double in size, so keep that in mind, and add twice the volume in water of your lentils. I like to adjust the water as they cook, I don’t like watery lentil soup.
Add the thyme. And keep cooking for 10 – 15 minutes. You could roast your bell peppers while you cook the lentils or do it ahead of time like I did. Place in the oven and get your oven broiler going. Place the bell pepper in the middle tray, and roast for 10 minutes, check until you see the skins go black. Don’t worry, the flesh has a lot of water and won’t burn. The skins should come off the flesh pretty effortlessly once you’ve taken the peppers out the oven and let them cool down for a bit.
The potatoes will take about 6-7 minutes to soften, so add them towards the end of the cooking of the lentils. Lentils will go soft but their flavor won’t be released until the core of those seeds finally breaks down entirely. Remember this is not a lentil salad, you don’t wan’t “al dente” lentils. They have to break down entirely and release all their magic. You will see a foamy film forming over them, taste taste taste, that is the trick. Adjust salt as you go, add more pepper if you like. Once the potatoes are fork tenders, and the lentils have broken down, the soup is ready.
Skin the red bell peppers, slice them and garnish your plate. Add them on top or simply mix them in. Doesn’t really matter. This is not a flashy dish but it is one t be reckoned with when it comes to eating both healthy and deliciously. Enjoy!!!!
related: lentil soup : turnips : kielbasa sausage : tomatoes
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Lentils are one of the few foods that I don’t care for at all. Unlike when I was a child I can eat them, but I try to avoid them usually.
I know many people that don’t like them starting with my mom 🙂 my but my aunt loves them and so do I. thanks for stopping by Stefan, hope your break was good!
I, on the other hand, love lentils, Paul. 😉
We always used them to make soups, usually with a pork product in the mix. If all else failed and there was no pork, a “battuto” was used to start the soup. Battuto is our region of Italy’s sofrito and include salt pork. We wouldn’t use the spices nor peppers that your recipe requires and I’d be very interested in tasting today’s soup. I bet it’s wonderful, Paul. Thanks for sharing.
Hey John! thanks for you comment! 🙂 I love salt pork and I’ve used it in some recipes but never tried it with lentils but I can see how it could really work. My aunt uses spanish chorizo and that works really well too… chorizo on anything if I had it my way hahaha I’ve used cumin which I don’t think is popular in italian dishes, right? I believe is more northern african which possibly influenced spain in the preparation of lentils but I’m not sure. Cumin is also very popular in venezuela where I grew up. You’re always welcome John!
I don’t recall Mom ever using cumin in our Italian dishes. I learned of it following Mexican recipes and still don’t use it very often.Back in the day, virtually every dish was begun with a battuto. It really did give everything a background pork flavor, like using bacon fat to begin a dish today.
Lentils mean the world to me, and this recipe sounds delicious and worth trying. I have bookmarked for trying. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome! I love lentils as well! The addition of cumin and coriander seed is really wonderful. Thank you for stopping by Liz!
I absolutely love lentil soups and when the semester was in full swing last spring, I think I would have starved without them since they were so easy to put together and were a dream to freeze. Yours looks terrific!
thanks!!! I still make big batches, and freeze them, and take them to work for lunch. They are extremely delicious and convenient…. ah, i ran out of time this weekend working on other dishes and couldn’t prep anything for my work week… hmmm. tomorrow night i guess 🙂
I am with you. My hubby and I love lentils and have for a very long time! This looks like a classic French preparation, but with your own spin. The peppers are beautiful and roasted ones do have the best flavor. The vitamin C in the pepper helps you absorb the non-heme iron that lentils are so rich with. 🙂 The cumin, coriander and thyme are a lovely trio of spices, as well. You know, there are so many colors and varieties of lentils on the market – they all have a unique texture and flavor and are used in different types of international cuisines; it’s fascinating. Beautiful photos, Paul – an great recipe.
thanks Shanna! 🙂 I’ve made puy lentils, seasoned with olive oil, dijon mustard, salt and pepper… sooo goood! but I never posted it.
You should post that…. 🙂