Have you learned how to make lentil soup? This recipe is a hearty soup that is especially good in the winter. Lentils are small dried legumes which are used in soups and many hearty dishes. Much like dried beans, they provide a good source of protein and fiber at a very economical price.
Although the origination of lentils takes us to the Asian countries and the Mediterranean area, here in the United States we have learned about the tremendous value which they offer to us. We now have different types of lentils available to us which we didn’t use to have. For decades we have been cooking with the brown lentil or the European type. The firmer green French lentils have become quite popular now for soups and salads.
Other types of lentils that we are using here can be found in the foreign grocery stores and sometimes in the foreign sections of our supermarkets. The Egyptian lentils are red in color and very small because their coats have been removed; this makes them very quick to cook. A less common black lentil from India has a very mild flavor and cooks about the same as the brown lentil.
Vegetarians, especially, have learned to utilize this legume to its fullest potential in their diets. They have learned how to make lentil soup and have found that these hearty soups can sustain the vegetarian’s diet adding great health benefits while being very filling at the same time. Other vegetables like carrots, celery, onion and potatoes might be added. The delicious flavors come by seasoning with cumin, garlic, bay leaves and other spices.
Even though most vegetarians have learned how to make lentil soups for their diet, it is also popular in the average diet. As I said earlier, this soup offers many of the same things that a pot of bean soup offers; protein and fiber. Unlike the vegetarian diet, I usually season mine with ham, bacon or salt pork like I do beans. What is different about lentils compared to dried beans is that they do not require soaking overnight; they cook up much quicker.
Lentils are very versatile, both in soup recipes and other dishes. The flavor blends well with most vegetables offering a good selection to add to your recipes. Also a huge selection of herbs and spices can be added to the pot changing the flavor tremendously to suite your taste buds. At times I prefer all the Italian spices in them and sometimes I prefer Mexican seasonings; almost always I add onion and garlic in the recipe. This is one of those recipes which you can throw in your favorite seasonings.
Soak lentils in the water overnight. Bring lentils just to a boil, reduce heat and cook until tender, adding more water if necessary. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion and celery. Cook about 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a small pan, melt the butter and add the flour to make a roux, Stir the roux into the hot soup to thicken. Add the sliced sausage and stir until hot. Serve immediately.
In a large pot combine all ingredients except for the diced tomatoes.
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until lentils are tender.
Add the diced tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes longer; serve hot.
Pasta Fagioli Recipe; this beans and pasta soup is hearty and a great selection from the Italian cuisine.
Split Soup Pea Recipe is another of my favorites; unlike the dried beans dried split peas cook quickly producing a delicious hearty soup for cold days.
Wash lentils, cover with water and cook for 1 hour.
Cut bacon into small pieces and fry until crisp; add bacon to lentils.
Place vegetables in bacon fat and cook until limp; add to lentils.
In the skillet used for bacon, melt butter; add flour stirring to make a smooth paste.
Add beef broth, salt and vinegar to flour mixture stirring until smooth; add to lentils and stir to blend.
Cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
Learn how to make lentil soup with ground turkey or with sliced turkey hot dogs; both are very tasty.
Brown sliced hot dogs or turkey meat in hot oil in 4 quart pan; remove meat and set aside.
Sauté celery, green pepper, carrots and garlic in same pan for 10 minutes while stirring.
Add lentils, beef broth, water, tomatoes, black pepper and bay leaves to pan.
Cover and cook for 1 to 2 hours on medium low or until lentils are soft.
Remove bay leaves from pot; stir in meat and serve.
Heat oil in large saucepan; add onion, garlic, coriander, cumin and bell pepper.
Sauté for 10 minutes stirring frequently.
Add lentils, jalapeno and the soup stock; add tomatoes and let simmer for 1 hour.
Remove from heat; add lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Serve hot; serves 4.
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