Sunday, June 14, 2009

Red Lentil Soup (Plz I can haz sum?)

Years ago, when I was a sophomore organic chemistry student, I was eating my lunch before class when the cute girl I had recently started sitting next to asked what I was eating. What I was eating was Red Lentil soup, which I love. I love this soup, and expect that everyone else will, too, so I asked her to taste it.

Afterward, she confessed that she thought "Not only is this guy willing to share his lunch, but he can make very tasty lentil soup. I should date him!" So, she did. It has been 11 1/2 years since she tasted my soup before class, and 10 years since we got married.

Not only does this soup have great lentils, and rich spices, but it doesn't call for additional salt. Be sure to rinse the lentils well, until they stop foaming.


Heat 2 TBSP olive oil
Saute, about 5 minutes :
2 large onions, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced

Add, saute 1 minute more:
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp coriander

6 cups stock
1/4 cup fresh or 1 TBSP dried parsley
29 oz can tomatoes, pureed
2 cups well-rinsed lentils

Simmer until lentils are tender, adding more water if needed.

Add 2 TBSP red wine vinegar.

If desired to make the soup thicker, take some out and blend it. Return blended soup to the pot.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Lentil Paste

I recently went to a workshop on eating legumes. It was mostly on things I knew (how to soak beans so you can cook them) and things I didn't care to know (how to make your own tofu). I did pick up one new tip -- Lentil Paste.

The way the story goes is that you can replace half of your oil with legumes, which seemed a little strange at first, since a bean and a measure of oil aren't really that similar. It turns out that if you have some cooked lentils, you can put them in your food processer with enough water that they process well, until you end up with a paste, like thin peanut butter. THIS replaces half the oil in your recipe.

Since I have recently started using Flegg for baking instead of egg, the amount of protein per muffin has gone down considerably. Lentil paste in a Flegg muffin is the perfect solution, at least every five days when lentils are up in the rotation. I've made a couple of different things with lentil paste, and so far everything has turned out fine.

Here is my original recipe for pumpkin muffins, as provided by my friend Sharon, for the second annual pumpkin fest.

1 1/2 c sugar
1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c oil
1/2 c water
1 eggs

Mix together well, then add:

1 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
3/4 tsp salt

Put in muffin pan, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

However, since then, I have learned to modify recipes slightly. OK, more than slightly these days. Here is my new and improved, hypo-allergenic Pumpkin Muffin Recipe:

1 c sugar
1 c pumpkin puree
1/4 c oil
1/4 c lentil paste
1/2 c water
4 TBSP half strength Flegg

Mix together well, then add:

1 2/3 c GF flour (Rice, sorghum, millet, whatever is up in the rotation)
1 tsp xanthan gum (muffins do well with 1/2 tsp per c of flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves (omitted, because the Maestro doesn't dig it)
3/4 tsp salt

Put in muffin pan, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.