Monday, January 12, 2009


I have been obsessed with lentils since I began hearing how good they are for our health. They are packed with fiber and protein but very inexpensive, and because of that they were the recommended meat substitute during the Depression.

It hasn't been easy for me to find good lentil recipes, though, so when I saw this one at the bottom of the page in a recent Family Circle magazine, I tried it immediately. I don't know the real definition of Chili, but honestly, this is really more of a chili-flavored soup. Regardless, it is easy to make with staple ingredients, and we thoroughly enjoyed it for lunch on this cold and cloudy day!

(Cooking Notes: This makes a full pot of soup, and I'm planning on freezing the leftovers for another day. I did substitute chicken broth for the water for a richer flavor. The diced tomatoes really made this soup for my son and me, so use ones that you really like!)

Smoky Lentil Chili
(Family Circle, Feb. 09, pg. 156)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan. Add 1/2 cup chopped onions; sauté for 2 minutes. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves; cook an additional 30 seconds. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of chipotle chili powder and 2 teaspoons ground cumin. stir in 3 cups of water, 1 cup dried brown lentils (rinsed) and 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes. Increase heat and bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes, adding water as needed. Stir in 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve with brown rice.


Donna said...

Too funny...we made soup today! It called for onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, lentils and chickpeas, but we didn't have any lentils. It was called Harira from the Moosewood Low-Fat cookbook. It's main flavors came from cinnamon, turmeric, fresh ginger, and 1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper. Cilantro and lemon juice go in at the end. It was VERY tasty, but I wish we had the lentils with it...I bet that would have been even better!

Rachel said...

Even more funny is that I was actually planning to ask you today for your Harira recipe! We should have collaborated! I could have given you lentils and you could have passed me the recipe! ;)

Donna said...

Ha! You and I should really collaborate more! I think we are both adventurous in the kitchen...thank goodness our families are willing to ride along!

I'll send along the Harira recipe as soon as I get it typed in!