- Becka's blog - http://beckasblog.ivman.com -

A tale of two lentils and a two year old

Do you like lentils? I don't think I ever ate them until I was an adult. I grew up in the midwest where we ate a lot of great northern beans, navy beans, and kidney beans, but not lentils, blackeyed peas, or pinto beans.

The nice thing about lentils is that they cook quickly and don't need presoaking. At the moment I have two kinds of lentils in my cupboard.

My favorite lentils are these tiny green ones that are French lentils or lentils du puy (pictured here on the left). I first had them in France a number of years ago and at that time they became my favorites. I had difficulty finding them around here until a couple of years ago when I discovered them at one of our favorite restaurants here in Greenville, The Pita House [1]. They have a large array of middle eastern groceries including a rainbow of lentils. Unfortunately I still had some of the less favored brown lentils (pictured on the right) in my pantry, so this week I decided to try a new soup recipe to use up some of them. It was actually pretty good, so give it a try if you like lentils. In a future post I will give you my favorite lentil recipe, so stay tuned, lentil lovers.

The recipe follows a picture of our grandson, Drew (who probably doesn't care for lentils) who just turned two!

Lentil Soup
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 cup peeled and diced carrot
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped cabbage
1/2 cup chopped celery
generous grinding of black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. beef soup base or bouillon
4 cups water
2 cups tomato sauce (I used spaghetti sauce)
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Brown ground beef in large soup kettle. Drain off fat and add onions and celery and cook a couple of minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except the vinegar. Heat to boiling and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer covered until vegetables and lentils are tender, about 30-40 mins. Just before serving add the vinegar.

Becka