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!!!!