Monday, February 23, 2009

red lentil soup

i know i am a bit behind in getting this up. i made red lentil soup in my crockpot last friday evening. i say red lentil not just lentil soup, because i think the red lentils make the soup look so much prettier. red lentils generally cost the same or maybe ten cents more than regular lentils which tend to be a greyish brown color. i am a huge fan of lentils and lentil soup, but i must admit it looks, well, a bit ugly. so, when i was shopping for dried beans last week, i saw red lentils and thought why not use them instead to make lentil soup. red lentils aren't truly red as i noticed many foods with colors in their name tend not to match the color like white sweet potato which is really yellow. by the way, if you haven't had white sweet potato, i highly recommend them especially for a sweet potato pie with lemon extract like my grandma makes. i digress and will have to discuss my favorite pie around thanksgiving when it is more seasonal. i also wanted to get creative and see if i could make this all in my crockpot. my hands have been suffering from dryness, so i'm a fan of avoiding washing more dishes. i normally, saute my veggies(better known as mirepoix) before making the soup. if this works in the crockpot, i would be good. so, here's the recipe and how it worked out.

red lentil soup

1 1lb bag of dried red lentils
2 cups diced onions
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 cup chopped celery
water or vegetable broth just enough to cover the beans and veggies
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs oregano
(this recipe omits spinach which i normally use more to keep uniformity in the color scape.)

i start off by soaking the lentils overnight. now i understand that lentils and split peas do not need to soak in order to cook. however, not only does it get some of the dirt off, but it also helps reduce some of the gassiness associated with beans. then, i thoroughly rinse them. i took the marjarine, onions, garlic, and seasonings and allowed them to sweat in the crockpot on high for 1/2 hour. once the onions were almost translucent, i added the celery and carrots and cooked them down for an additional 15 minutes til the onions were completely translucent. then, i added the red lentils and water or broth. here is a picture of the soup cooking. i moved the crockpot setting down to low allowing the soup to cook for 3-5 hours til the lentils were thoroughly cooked. then, after the soup cooled some, i portioned the soup into individual containers to freeze. sadly, that's flour spilled in my freezer.
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