Tag Archives: lentil

Spicy Red Lentil Soup

16 Mar

To me, lunch is probably the most important meal of the day.  Before I started working from home, I would throw whatever leftovers were around in a container, or wrap something in a tortilla and call it lunch.  But now I’m working from home and I can’t keep from wondering what’s in the fridge every hour or so.

So, I’ve been trying to make filling and interesting lunches for myself.  I have been following the 1600 calorie meal plan out of Becoming Vegan, and the lunch meal is lentil soup.  I’ve been playing around with lentils and have wanted to post the baked lentils that I’ve made big pans of for the last two weeks, but they’re so damn unattractive.  Needing a change, I decided to go for some lentil soup.

I had some fresh ginger in my fridge leftover from the birthday dinner I made for Bret (uggh, I’ve been so bad about photographing and blogging my foods), so I found a recipe that used it.  I made this Spicy Lentil Soup from Jenessa on Recipezaar.

Spicy Red Lentil Soup


1 tsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup water

1 cup red lentils

1 1/2 Tbsp. paprika

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp. herbes de provence

28oz. can whole tomatoes


Saute the garlic and ginger in the olive oil until they are fragrant but not burnt.  Add in the rest of the ingredients, including the juice from the canned tomatoes.  Break up the tomatoes with a spoon, stir well, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer until the lentils are tender.

This soup is SO RED.

I didn’t change much, other than using a vegetable boullion cube and water instead of the broth.  It took about a half hour for the lentils to cook, then I took the cover off of the pot and let it thicken a little bit.  I usually eat soups with more vegetables, and I think adding some peppers, onions, celery or whatever is around would be great.

My stomach is full and doesn’t really care what else is in the fridge right now.

– Ellen


Two Soups!

8 Sep

I’m obsessed with soup.  I eat it almost every day.  Even during the summer.  Especially during this summer, because the office I work is so cold I could wear my winter coat if it still fit me.  I’m often sitting at my desk at around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, drinking a cup of tea and rubbing my hands together to get the blood flowing.

So anyway, bringing soup for lunch is good for getting my belly warmed up.  I like to make a pot over the weekend so I have it for lunch a good portion of the week.

I’m going to share the last two soups I made, but I promise to make something different and exciting next time.  Promise!

Soup #1: Lentil and Tomato Soup with Spinach


4 cups water with a veggie bouillon cube dissolved in it

1 cup lentils

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 stalk celery, sliced

1 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup salsa

10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained


Bring the broth to a boil with the lentils.  I heard somewhere that letting lentils boil rapidly for a minute or so before turning them down to simmer gets rid of whatever makes lentils give me mad gas, but whatever.   Simmer this until the lentils are tender.  It should take about a half hour.

Meanwhile, cook the onion, pepper and celery in a pan with the olive oil until they’re soft.

Add the veggies, tomato sauce and salsa to the lentils and mix it all up.  Let this simmer for another 30 minutes or so and add seasonings if you need to.  Then mix in the spinach and let it cook until it’s all warm.  Eat!


Soup #2: Caribbean Black Bean and Eggplant Soup

(I bastardized an already bastardized recipe.  But it was tasty!)


1 Tbsp. canola oil

3/4 cup green pepper, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp. cumin

3/4 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/4 tsp. salt

28 oz. canned whole tomatoes in puree

2 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

zest of one lime

1/2 large eggplant, peeled and cubed

1 cup black beans

as many dashes of hot sauce as you want


Cook the onion, celery, green pepper and garlic in the oil for a few minutes, until they’re softened.  Mix in the dry spices and cook a few minutes longer.  Add the tomatoes (breaking them up), water, maple syrup and lime zest.  Bring that to a boil and cook about 15 minutes covered.  Then add in the eggplant and cook covered for another 10 minutes, until the eggplant is softened.  Mix in the black beans and hot sauce and cook until it’s warmed through.  It would be good over rice, or you could eat it as is like I did.


– Ellen

Lentil and Apricot Soup

20 Aug


I love soup.  I love making big batches of soup and eating it all week for lunch.  And I’ve been doing that!

On Sunday I made up a big pot of lentil soup.  It was one of those things where I just dumped everything in my soup pot and let it cook.  It doesn’t look very impressive, but it’s really, really tasty.  I threw it in my blender to get it all smooth, but I suppose if you want it chunky you could chop up the apricots and any veggies you want in there.  I think I’d suggest using a lentil that doesn’t quite fall apart as much when it’s cooked if you’re not going to blend it, though.  Red lentils get really mushy.



3 oz. red lentils, about a cup

3 oz. dried apricots

potatoes!  probably a little over a pound.  leave the skin on, it’s good for you!

5 cups of water and a veggie bouillon cube, or vegetable broth

1 1/2 tsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. dried parsley, or a handful of chopped fresh parsley


Throw everything in a pot and give it a stir.  Cover it and bring it to a boil.  Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a half hour or so.  Then whiz it around in your blender, taste and add any other spices that you want.  I think I just threw in some black pepper.

So easy!  I like the mixture of cumin and the apricots a whole bunch.

– Ellen

Red Lentil and Eggplant Curry

19 Jun

Okay, so I’m thinking this ended up being a cross between a curry and a daal. It had curry type ingredients but the split lentils made it all creamy like daal.

Either way, it was really good.

So, Bret took me to Wegmans the first time I went out there to visit him. Wegmans was the only fond memory I have from my college time in Geneseo. Well, that’s not true. But it’s a very fond memory and I wish they would spread to the Saratoga area but the Golubs have a tight hold on the area with their crappy Price Choppers. Whatever!

Anyway, while we were there I picked up things that I’ve had a hard time finding around here. One of those things was a big bag of split red lentils. But that bag’s been sitting in my kitchen cupboards ever since I bought it. I’m trying to use things that I have hanging around. So I decided on the lentils. I looked through recipes trying to get ideas and settled on making a curry with the lentils. And an eggplant. So here’s what I did.


1 large onion, chopped as big or small as you like

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 cups water or veggie broth

1 cup (about) red lentils

1 eggplant, peeled and diced

2 Tbsp. red curry paste

salt and other things to taste

1/2 cup (about) coconut milk


Cook the onion and garlic in a little oil or nonstick cooking spray until it’s soft. This is gonna take a rather large pan to fit everything. Once the onions and garlic are cooked, add the water or broth, lentils, curry paste and eggplant. Bring all of that to a boil, then let it simmer uncovered until the lentils are soft and mushy. Stir it around pretty often to make sure that nothing’s sticking and add more water if you need to. I probably didn’t need to, but I did, and I think that’s why it came out a little more like daal than anything else.

Taste it and add seasonings if you need to. I added some salt, a bit of curry powder, and a couple of shakes of cayenne.

Once the lentils are cooked and everything’s seasoned, add in the coconut milk and let it boil for about five minutes or so to thicken up.

Then eat!

I ate it with a little bit of whole wheat couscous, but I could have eaten it out of a bowl with nothing to accompany it. This makes a bunch, you could totally feed 4 – 6 people no problem.

Bret says he wants to learn how to make better curries and I doubt this helped him any but I think he’s pretty good at it already.



12 Jun

Remember how I said I had money now and I was going to start cooking nice things and not just living on Big Lots’ jars of pickles and whatever I’ve had in the cupboard for the last year collecting dust? Okay, that didn’t really happen. I’m in a money squeeze, who knows when I’ll get out, and I haven’t been doing the best job of assembling real meals for myself. Lunch was shredded wheat and milk. Breakfast was shredded wheat and milk. Hmm.

But I have this bag of lentils, and Jeff won’t mind if I steal one of his onions, and oh I have some brown rice too. Holy crap! I can make mujadarrah! I discovered this recipe a long time back when I was in a similar low-budget situation with some random ingredients hanging around. Now, I don’t know if the way I make it resembles at all the authentic proper way of making it, but it tastes awesome.

I’m not going to give you a proper recipe because I was just winging it and there’s only a few ingredients but here’s what I did. I cooked a cup of brown rice and boiled a cup of lentils. In another pan I used some olive oil to fry up a whole sliced onion. Now, if I had it to do over again I’d use two. I cooked them until they were good and brown and some of the onions were even burnt a little. Then I took the rice and the lentils, put it in the skillet with the onions, and mixed it all up while still frying it on medium heat. I added a little more oil at the end, stirred it, and then seasoned it with salt and pepper to taste. Whoops! I forgot the garlic. I added in a couple cloves of minced garlic at the end here and fried it for another minute to let that cook a little bit, but I probably should have added it towards the beginning after the onions were translucent.

Hey! That was easy! And it was really tasty too. Some recipes add in spices at the end like cumin. I thought about it and thought it tasted just great without.