‘PLANT BASED PROTEIN DIET’
Lentil soup is a hearty soup made with small legumes known as lentils, which are similar to beans. The soup also includes other spices and vegetables. This soup is easy to make as a vegetarian or vegan -very healthy dish! Although there are many different recipes for making this soup, the basics are fairly constant across recipes….except for this one!
- Beluga Black lentil* 1 cup rinsed (and picked)
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil ( or sesame oil)
- 1 Onion large ( up to 1 cup)
- 1 Clove garlic – large
- 4 cups water
- 10-15 green pods of cardamom: open pods and put seeds into mortar & crush.
- 1 tea spoon cumin seeds into mortar crush (remove husks)
- Ginger root 1 x 2 inches peeled chopped – or grated
- 1 carrot peeled & chopped
- 1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper .
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- In a frying pan with 2 inch sides (or dutch oven)
- Add Oil
- Add chopped onions (cook until translucent) followed by 1 clove of chopped garlic
- Add cumin* (fresh ground)
- Add cardamon* (fresh ground seeds)
- Add Cayenne pepper 1/8 tsp.
- Add beluga black lentils
- Add 4 cups of water, mix well
- Bring to a boil then cover over medium heat, cook until lentils are cooked but not mush. About 20 mins
- Add chopped ( or grated ) ginger, salt and chopped carrot. Cook for another 5-10 mins.
May need to add a bit more water.
TIP: *Use a soft brush to get all the spice out of the mortar bowl – into the pot.
CARDAMOM: Cardamom pods vary in size. Loose cardamom in bulk stores may be dried out. Also, there are large and small pods. Use common sense when using ‘fresh’ spices.
I chopped 2 medium red onions for 1 1/2 cups and bagged the 1/2 cup over – for another day. It’s all good!
* Black lentils have the most protein in the lentil family.
** Skip the cook time if you are adding ‘cooked’ lentils ( plus liquid from cooked lentils). Also, adjust the amount of water by about 1 cup. When adding the carrots and ginger cook for the allotted 10 minutes.
Beluga Lentil Soup – Garnished with Avocado and a dollop of Greek yogurt + a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (or paprika)
MULTI-TASKING. Make two dishes at once! Prepare Beluga Lentil salad at the same time as the Lentil soup –see below- –
I freeze my cooked lentils in glass jars. I find it is the safest method for preserving food. To learn more about lentils visit this site –> tasteinsight.com
INTERESTING FACTS About Beluga Black Lentil
Black lentils are called BELUGA because of their resemblance to caviar. A fun conversation at the dinner table. They have a warm, nutty flavor and keeps its shape, even during prolonged cooking. They are the most nutritious out of all the types of lentils. On the other hand, the red lentils, also called red ‘split’ lentils become a bit mushy while cooking. Similar to what you see with ‘split pea’ soup. In India, the lentil is known as dal or daal. [ The optical lens is named after the Latin word for lentil: lens. ]
TIPS AND TRICKS
I always cook Beluga lentils in a separate pot for this recipe in order to save a portion for my Lentil Butternut Squash Salad. I add 1 cup of cooked lentils to the soup and the rest is capped for salads. I enjoy this salad very much with walnut oil. Substitutes for butternut squash are acorn squash, orange yams or pumpkin [ even chick peas ]. Sometimes, I make this Beluga lentil salad with mango, red pepper and chopped sweet onions – with plenty of cilantro.
NATIONAL LENTIL FESTIVAL
PULLMAN, WASHINGTON, USA
Pullman hosts this annual festivity every August, which recognizes the magically delicious legume and features the world’s largest bowl of lentil chili! Yum!
21st Legendary Lentil Cook-OFF: Each spring, people send recipes from around the country. A panel of food experts evaluates the dishes and selects five finalists who are brought to the festival to prepare their dish for a panel of five celebrity judges. ( All 109 of this year’s recipes are available in a cookbook for sale for $5 at the festival and online. Hungry yet?) Lentilfest.com
LENTIL SOUP CURES THE WINTER CHILL-OUT
Finding the balance in life – with lentils