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Posts Tagged ‘lentils’

Barley Lentil Soup


Here is a soup recipe that you can make from ingredients that you keep on hand in your pantry and freezer. It is pretty quick to pull together and makes a nice lunch with some fruit and crackers or good bread. The original recipe is from the Iowa Housewife blog which is one of my favorite recipe sources. The following is my adaptation of their delicious recipe.

Barley Lentil Soup

4 cups chicken broth
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cup sliced or chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 dried lentils (I prefer the green French lentils du puy, but any lentils will work)
1/4 cup quick barley (this keeps well in the freezer)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
about a cup of fresh spinach or kale, chopped or some frozen chopped spinach
2 Tbsps. tomato sauce or catsup (I often use a little jarred spaghetti sauce if some is lingering in the fridge)
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan for garnish if desired

Heat oil in soup kettle and then saute onion and garlic briefly. Add broth, herbs, carrots, and lentils. Simmer about half an hour. Add barley and cook 10-15 mins. longer. Add tomato, salt and pepper, and greens. When greens are wilted serve with grated Parmesan.

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My favorite lentil recipe

A while back I posted a recipe for lentil soup. On that post I mentioned that I would post my favorite recipe for lentils. Well, lentil lovers, today is your lucky day. I found this recipe on line several years ago and have modified it to suit our tastes. I think what makes this dish so good is the carmelized onions. Please don't omit them -- I guess you need to be a lentil lover and an onion lover to truly appreciate this recipe!

Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/3 cup uncooked green lentils (lentils du puy)
3/4 cup raw rice
salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, etc. to taste

In a large stainless steel skillet heat the oil and then sauté the onion with the sugar until the onion is nice and brown and carmelized. This will make your house smell so good!

picture of Carmelized Onions

Rinse lentils and pick over, removing any stones or debris. Place in a sauce pan and cover with water by about an inch above the lentils. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 mins. After 15 mins. add rice and simmer 15-20 mins. more or until rice is tender. Stir a few times and make sure it doesn't scorch. If it seems too dry add a little water. It is all right if this is a bit soupy.

picture of Lentils and Rice

You can cook it to the consistency you like. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, a little oregano, etc. Or you can use an all-purpose seasoning such as Adobo seasoning.

picture of Adobo

Serve the lentils with the onions on top. You can add sour cream or yogurt, chopped tomatoes, salsa, hot sauce or whatever sounds good to you.

picture of Lentils and Onions

For serving just two people use 1/2 cup lentils and 1/3 cup rice.

For those of you in the Greenville area who like lentils you might want to try the lentils at the Pita House. The lentils there are slightly sweet and taste like they have a little molasses in them. They are served with a large Greek salad.

If you need a quick meatless meal try this one.


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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.

picture of Twolentils

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. 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.

picture of Lentilsoup

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

picture of DrewTwoCake

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.


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