Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Lemon Garlic Lentils


Soup is one of my favorite things to make and eat. It usually involves one dirty soup pot and not much prep work. At least the soups I normally make. And the payoff...the payoff is yummy flavorful, hearty meals. And even tastier leftovers.

One thing I do have a hard time with is not making the same chili flavored soup in every season. I don't think I'm supposed to eat spicy chili when there are bright green veggies available in the spring....Or when I can't stop sweating in the summer. So, I have found a bright, springy soup that I tried over the weekend. You can find the original recipe here. I have tweaked it a bit. The finish product was so delicious but I was wanting more lentils than rice and a little meat. And a few veggies.

Lemon-Garlic Lentil Soup
lentils: 1 cup dry lentils + 4 cups vegetable broth
The original recipe said to use LePuy Lentils so I used the french lentils from my grocery store (any will work)
rice: 1/2 cup dry short-grain brown rice + 1 cups water + pinch of salt

soup base:
5-7 cups vegetable broth (depending on how much broth you would like)
2-3 medium juicy lemons, juiced -- (about 1/2 cup lemon juice total)
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp turmeric (I ground mine fresh)

1 large carrot halved and sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4-1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (I used curly-leaf because it is growing in my yard)


Meat balls: 
I made about 2 cups of 1 inch in diameter turkey meat balls. I just wanted a few here and there to help fill my man's huge stomach. (Just one ingredient, ground turkey. The broth will season them.)
 
garnish: 

4-6 thin lemon slices
Add 1/4 cup chopped kale or spinach to the bottom of each bowl. It will wilt when the hot soup is poured over.

Directions:

1. You can start off by pre-soaking your lentils for fastest cooking. Soak in warm salted water for about two hours before cooking. However; I did not pre-soak but can slow-simmered the lentils until tender. If soaked, drain lentils and add to a small soup pot along with two cups of veggie broth (I used chicken stock). Bring to a boil and them reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. This can be done a day or two before and cut down on your cooking time the day of. 

2. For the rice, prepare it in a separate pot at the same time you are cooking the lentils. Bring 2 cups of water, plus a pinch of salt to a boil, add the brown rice, cover with lid and reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low for about 30 minutes or until tender and most of the liquid has absorbed. For soup, you do not need to worry about making rice fluffy or waiting for all the liquid to be absorbed, since it will be re-hydrated by the soup broth anyways.

3. Add the meat balls to a large soup pot along with the remaining soup ingredients: lemon juice and zest, garlic, bay leaf, spices, parsley and broth. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until cooked thru (about 10-15 minutes). Add your rice and lentils a few minutes before serving. You don't want them to over-cook. Remove bay leaf before serving. Adjust salt, pepper, turmeric and cayenne (if you want) to taste if desired.

Serve soup warm with lemon slices as garnish in the soup.


-Alison

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