Long Live the Lentil!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love, love, love the humble little lentil?

It’s true.

When health nuts everywhere talk about all the fabulous things you can do with black beans and kidney beans and the good ol’ garbanzo (because, you know, that’s what health nuts talk about,) I smile and I nod and I act polite.  But deep down, I’m shaking my head and saying, “long live the lentil!”

I mean, really now.  Can any of the other beans skip a night of soaking in their bath and be all cooked and ready to eat in under 15 minutes?  I think not.

This would be the French variety–a dainty little speckled lentil with a greenish-blue hue (so pretty!)

(I know the name “French lentil” sounds all snooty and pretentious and all, but you just have to get to know it and then you’ll for sure fall in love, just as I have.)

My new favorite way to serve these pretty little lentils up is in a soup.  A curried lentil soup.

I discovered this recipe while flipping through Bon Appetite.

My usual habit is to flip through and say, “Oh, I want to make this one!  And this one!  Oh, definitely this one,” as I dog ear nearly every page.  But on this particular occasion, I literally tore out the recipe right then and there, threw on my apron and made a pot of soup.

(Because, as you know, there is no soaking time required for the lentil…let’s not forget about that wonderful feature!)

In addition to being obsessed with the lentil, I’m also a tad obsessed with curry powder.  And although I’ve never actually combined the two in one meal, I was delighted with the outcome.  They both complimented each other famously, not one overpowering the other.

Long Live the Lentil!!!!!

Curried Lentil Soup – as seen on BonAppetite.com

I always double up on this soup and then freeze single serve containers for lunches during the week.  The butter lends such a nice texture and creaminess to the soup, and adding the pureed chickpea mixture at the end will thicken the finished product.  Enjoy!

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) curry powder
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 4 1/4 cups (or more) water, divided
  • 1 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add half of chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add 2 tablespoons curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add lentils and 4 cups water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, puree chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in processor.
  3. Add chickpea puree and butter to lentil soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. DO AHEAD Soup can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Rewarm before continuing.
  4. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions and serve with lemon wedges.

QUESTION: What is YOUR favorite legume?  Aside from eating a lot of lentils, I really do love garbanzo beans. Winking smile

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6 thoughts on “Long Live the Lentil!

  1. The earthiness of lentils is what makes me love them so much! Have you ever made a lentilloaf? It sounds bizarre – but it’s a meat loaf using lentils instead of beef. Delicious.
    Also, to answer your question, my favorite legume is technically a peanut (which is also my favorite food, the majority of the time at least)!

    • I’ve made a lentil loaf ONCE in my life, but it was for a holiday gathering and it disappeared before I even had a chance to try it. 😉

      Thanks for the reminder though, I’d really like to make another (and actually eat it this time!)

  2. I think garbanzo beans are my favourite because I adore hummus. But I’ve been experimenting a lot with red lentils lately because I bought a huge bag of them. I didn’t have too much luck making them into veggie burgers (too mushy!), but they were fabulous in an Indian dal!

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