I haven’t cooked much with lentils, but soup is one of the easiest things to make and this turned out wonderfully– it’s a quick, cheap, filling, and healthy meal. The tomato paste is really what makes the difference–it carmelizes and turns deep brown, giving the broth a gorgeous flavor. Completely different than most of my other soups.
- 1/2 lb of lentils (half a package)
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion, red or white
- Thumb-size piece of ginger
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- Hot pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 spoonful of tomato paste
- Several cups of chicken stock
Dice celery, carrots, onions, and bell pepper. Mince ginger. Start hot pepper in a cold pan with olive oil. When the oil is hot, add celery, carrots, onion, bell pepper, and ginger. After two minutes, add the tomato paste and sautee for another 3-5 minutes until the tomato paste has turned dark red and the vegetables have softened. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the lentils and sautee another two minutes. Add chicken stock, enough to cover everything plus an inch. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 35-40 mins, until lentils are fully cooked. If too much liquid has been absorbed, add enough to get the consistency you want. Serve plain or garnish with cheese–crumbled feta is good!