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Lentil Soup

RECIPE – Lentil Soup
The Vegetarian Librarian

1 cup of red lentils
6 cups of water
1 onion
3 carrots
3 celery stalks
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bay leaf
About 1/2 tablespoon of cumin (to taste)
About 1/2 tablespoon of coriander (to taste)
About 1 teaspoon of sea salt
pepper (to taste)
Juice of 1-2 lemons (optional)

Inspect and thoroughly wash the lentils until the water runs clear. Chop the onions, carrots and celery. Heat oil in a medium size soup pot, add bay leaf, onions, carrots, celery, cumin and coriander. Saute for about 5 minutes on a medium high flame until the onions are translucent and golden. Grate in garlic or add chopped garlic, sea salt and pepper. Add lentils, stir up and add water. Bring to a boil then cover and lower the flame. Cook for about twenty minutes or until the lentils are soft and falling apart. Keep covered, but stir occasionally. Before serving add the lemon juice to taste and enjoy!


What do you mean by inspect and thoroughly wash?
When lentils are processed small rocks are used. You should take these and any really bad looking (i.e. discolored, broken, shriveled) lentils out of the mix. I used to be really worried about whether or not I was eating rocks with the lentils. Once I found a little rock in a bag of lentils and I realized it is pretty obvious when there is a rock in the mix. You should always wash any legume very thoroughly. If you don’t you may be in for some gastric repercussions.

Do you have to soak lentils like other beans?
No! That is part of what makes them so awesome! Lentils are for the lazy legume lovers.

I don’t have cumin and coriander, can I still make lentil soup?
Absolutely. Those are just suggestions. You can add curry, gram masala, coconut milk, ginger, fresh herbs (I’d add these before serving), hot and spicy stuff, miso and just about anything else that strikes your fancy for flavoring. Additional vegetables will work, too. I would just err on the side of caution when seasoning because you can always add more if you need it! The only ingredients that are must-haves with this one are lentils, onion, olive oil, water and salt.

How do lentils grow?
Lentils are seeds of lentil plants that grow in pods that hold 1-2 lentils each.

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