Lentils are an excellent source of folic acid, and since I am 6 months pregnant, I need to be good about eating thing rich in folic acid, not to mention a long list of other things that I really have to set my mind to eat, what my mouth really craves are salty crunchy potato chips. I love lentils though, they are so tasty and so good for you too, filled with iron, good vegetarian protein and what a great thing for them to be so good for women in my condition.
I used my Jewish cookbook for this recipe, which has a great balance of Sephardic and Ashkenazi recipes, of course the Sephardic recipes are the ones that make me swoon. I halved the recipe and we still ended up eating these lentils for dinner two nights in a row, having them as a soup the first night and over quinoa the following night. Delicious both ways and a thick enough soup that you could serve it over rice or another grain like quinoa.
Esau’s Lentil Pottage from 1,000 Jewish Recipes by Fay Levy
- 1 lb lentils (about 3 cups)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 6 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 5 or 6 cups water
- 1 dried hot pepper (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I used parsley)
Spread the lentils on a plate, pick through them carefully, rinse and drain.
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and sauté over medium-low heat 7 minutes. Add garlic, coriander, and cumin and sauté 1 minute. Add lentils, stock, 3 cups water, hot pepper if using, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat 30 minutes.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and 2 cups water to lentils and return to a boil. Simmer 14 more minutes or until lentils are tender. If soup is too thick, add remaining cup water and bring to a boil. Discard hot pepper and bay leaves. Add cilantro and salt, and season generously with pepper. Serve hot.