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Archive for the ‘Lentils’ Category

Coconut-Kaffir Lentil Soup

 

So…I’ve been on a lentil kick lately.  I love them and just can’t seem to get enough of these wee legumes.  Not a bad predilection to have, I suppose,  since lentils are nutritional superstars.  You’ll dig this soup.  It’s rich, thick and amazingly flavorful. 

Coconut-Kaffir Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

1-15oz can lite coconut milk

1 quart faux chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup lentils

1 medium onion, sliced

1 lime, zest reserved for garnish

4 kaffir lime leaves, plus some sliced thinly for garnish

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 T fresh ginger, finely diced

1 ½ tsp curry powder

½ tsp red pepper flakes, plus some for garnish

toasted coconut flakes, for garnish

coconut oil

Directions:

Sauté the onion and garlic in a drizzle of coconut oil until softened.  Add the curry powder, ginger, red pepper flakes and lime leaves and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the coconut milk and broth.  Bring to a low simmer and add the lentils.  Cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes.  Transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth.  Add the juice of one lime and blend to mix thoroughly.  Return to the stove and taste for seasoning.   Adjust as necessary with salt and pepper.

Garnish with lime zest, red pepper flakes, toasted coconut and thinly-sliced kaffir lime leaves.

 

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Curried Lentil and Quince Soup

 

 

Every year on Christmas Eve we renew a dinner tradition.  We share our meal together very late at night,  and it is always a soup.  This is the soup that I shall be making this year in order to help celebrate this open-hearted season. 

 

Curried Lentil and Quince Soup

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, medium dice

2 carrots, cut into medium-sized pieces

2 quince, peeled, cored and cut into medium-sized pieces

2 large cloves garlic, chopped

1 ½ cup lentils [I used red lentils, brown lentils would work just as well]

1 ½ T curry powder

2 quarts veg or faux chicken stock

1 tsp red pepper flakes

olive oil

sea salt

pumpkin seeds, for garnish

fried onions, for garnish

Directions:

Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the bottom of a soup pot and turn the heat to medium.  Once hot, add the onion, carrots, quince and garlic.  Sauté until the edges have caramelized a bit.  Add the curry powder and red pepper flakes.  Sauté for a couple more minutes.  Add the lentils and stock.  Bring to a low simmer and cook until the lentils are soft [~20 minutes].  Transfer the contents by batch into a blender and purée until smooth.  Return to the stove and taste for seasoning.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  At this point you could also add more curry powder or red pepper flakes if you wish a stronger flavored soup.

Serve hot garnished with pumpkin seeds and fried onions.

 

 

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Because we are whole food vegans,  our pantry closet looks like a Bob’s Red Mill outlet since that is where we buy most of our bulk grains, legumes and flours.  We always hit up the Portland, Oregon store whenever we venture down that way and slowly cruise the aisles looking at all the amazing organic products they offer.  If there is a grain, seed, legume, flour mixture [such as vital wheat gluten or 10-grain mix] that you’ve been hunting for but can’t find locally, check out their web site because they’ll probably have it in stock.  I’m really looking forward to ravaging my own pantry as the weather cools and the season turns.  I’ll find plenty of uses for dried legumes and grains that’ll help to fend off the cold.  This soup is my first autumnal offering.

I used two varieties of lentils for this soup for textural reasons.  The brown lentils are larger and softer and shall break down with freezing, cooking time or even due to a voracious simmer.  The Puy lentils are heartier and will retain their shape through nearly anything.   It’s for this reason that I use these little French green lentils most often in recipes unless I specifically want a creamy texture such as in an Indian dal dish.  If you don’t have Puy lentils at hand, you may certainly use brown lentils in their place for this recipe. 

 

Lentil Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

1½ cup brown lentils, rinsed

½ cup Puy lentils, rinsed

1 leek, sliced lengthwise into quarters and then across into a dice

1 onion, diced

2 cups thinly sliced dinosaur kale

3 carrots with tops, if possible, diced

1 zucchini squash, medium dice

3 inner stalks of celery with leaves, diced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 quarts vegetable stock [You could use a faux chicken or beef broth if you wanted a more savory soup]

olive oil

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Drizzle a tablespoon or so of olive oil into a soup pot.  Add leek, onion, celery, carrot and garlic.  Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add the zucchini and lentils and mix well.  Add the stock and bring to a slow simmer.  Cook for about half an hour to 45 minutes, until the lentils are tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with chopped carrot tops or parsley if no carrot tops were available. 

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This is a fabulous way to use leftover rice and lentils.  I don’t know about you, but we often have leftover cooked lentils and brown rice on hand because they are so versatile.  I also tend to keep cabbage in the crisper because I love adding it to salads for a sweet crunch.   This soup will thicken overnight as the rice absorbs the broth and become more stew-like.  You can then ladle it over baked potatoes or a plateful of steamed greens for another more hearty meal.  It also freezes very well.

 

Stuffed Bell Pepper and Cabbage Soup

Ingredients:

5 tomatoes [mine weighed 1.5 lbs total]

1 medium onion, diced

2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced [reserve a ¼ cup for garnish]

½ head cabbage, cut into shreds [Mine yielded about 6 cups]

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 cup cooked Puy lentils

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 T tomato paste

1 ½ T dried oregano

Sea salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper

6 cups vegetable or faux chicken broth

Olive oil

Directions:

Cut the tomatoes in half and toss with a bit of olive oil.  Roast in a 450°F oven for an hour or until caramelized on top.  Transfer to a blender and blitz.  [Mine yielded 2 cups of tomato puree]

While the tomatoes are roasting, add a drizzle of olive oil to a pan over medium heat and sauté the onions, garlic, bell pepper and cabbage until softened.  Add the tomato paste and oregano.  Cook for a few minutes longer.  Add in the rice and lentils and mix well.  Set aside until the tomatoes are ready.

Add the tomato puree and vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a simmer.  Let cook for about 15 minutes and then season with salt and pepper. 

Garnish with dried or fresh oregano [mine happened to be flowering, so I used those as well] and finely diced green bell pepper.

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Lentil and Brown Rice Wrap

Ingredients:

Whole wheat tortillas [Our favorite is Trader Joe’s Organic brand]

1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise

1 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise

1 red bell pepper, sliced

olive oil

puy lentils, cooked in vegetable broth

short-grained brown rice, cooked in vegetable broth

green leafies [I used mâche]

squeeze of fresh lemon juice

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Lightly brush or spray the sliced squash and pepper with olive oil and grill in a grill pan. 

Place the green leafies in a bowl and toss with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the rice and lentils together in equal proportion.  Place a few spoonfuls upon a warmed whole wheat tortilla.  Top with the grilled vegetables and some of the seasoned green leafies.   Wrap up and eat!

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Wanting to have a lighter dinner, I served the curry over some roasted spaghetti squash and sautéed kale rather than rice. 

 

Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry with Lentils

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 T tomato paste

2 tsp chili garlic sauce [You could substitute with any hot sauce or chili pepper.]

2 T Kashmir garam masala [I used Urban Accent’s Blend]

2 T coconut oil

1-14 oz can lite coconut milk

1-15 oz can sweet potato puree

2 cups faux chicken broth

2 cups carrots, diced

2 cups plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-sized pieces

juice of one lime

2 cups puy lentils, cooked in faux chicken broth

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

freshly-cracked green peppercorns, for garnish

Directions:

Sauté onion in the coconut oil until softened.  Add garlic, ginger and garam masala and stir for a couple of minutes.  Add the tomato paste and spread it around the pan to ensure that it is cooked.  After a couple of minutes add in the chili garlic sauce, coconut milk, sweet potato puree and broth.  Mix well and simmer gently for 15 minutes.  Add in the carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower and lentils.  Cook until the vegetables are fork-tender.  Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with cracked green peppercorns.

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Asian Barbecue-Glazed Lentil and Barley Loaf

I was looking through our pantry at the various grains tucked within.  It occurred to me that I hadn’t done anything with pearled barley in a really long time.  Now color me strange, but whenever I see the words “pearled barley” my mind leaps to an image of Pearl S. Buck’s,  The Good Earth.  Every.  Single.  Time.  That admission out of the way,  it should now seem intuitive that an Asian-inspired dish leapt to mind.  But I really really wanted to make a grain loaf.  Therein lied the conundrum…occidentally oriented…until my synapses fired.  Blammo!  I would make a loaf with a sticky, full-flavored, lip-smackingly tasty Asian-style barbecue sauce.  I fled, gleefully, to the kitchen! 

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked Puy lentils [I cooked mine in No-Chicken Broth for added flavor.]

1 cup cooked pearled barley [Also cooked in No-Chicken Broth.]

½ cup rolled oats, uncooked

¼ cup sesame seeds

2 cups ciabatta bread, cubed and soaked in ¼ cup No-Chicken broth, pulsed in a processor

½ cup red pepper, finely diced

½ cup green pepper, finely diced

½ cup carrot, finely diced

½ onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 head roasted garlic

½ cup Asian-style barbecue sauce [Recipe below.]

Directions:

Sauté onions, peppers, minced garlic and carrot in a drizzle of canola oil until softened.  In a bowl add lentils, barley, oats, sesame seeds, roasted garlic, soaked and pulsed bread, and sautéed vegetables.  Mix well.  Add ½ cup of Asian barbecue sauce and mix thoroughly. 

Add mixture to a sprayed loaf pan and press into shape.  Top with more of the barbecue sauce and place in the oven.  Cook until the sauce on top has caramelized and is thick and sticky.   [If you place a whole carrot in the center of the loaf as I did you need to cook it a bit longer to ensure the carrot is fully cooked.]

Allow it to time to set and cool before cutting.  Spraying your knife with a non-stick spray also helps to ensure clean cuts.

Asian-Style Barbecue Sauce

This sauce is sweet and spicy and packs a bit of heat.  Absolutely delicious.

Ingredients:

1 cup hoisin sauce

½ cup No-Chicken broth

¼ cup white miso

¼ cup sake

¼ cup double-concentrated tomato paste

¼ cup ponzu sauce [without bonito]

2 tsp chili garlic sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a pan and simmer for 15 minutes.

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