Why we should all love lentils!
Lentils are really cheap, full of protein and can be added to so many dishes. If you are not a regular eater of lentils, you should be, and here’s why…
The most common are probably red, brown and green lentils (often labelled puy) which can be found in the pulses/beans section of most supermarkets.
Lentils can help combat heart disease, lower cholesterol levels and benefit the nervous system, immune system and teeth. They provide vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 and folate, as well as calcium, iron and potassium and are high in fibre.
Red lentils are thinner and more fragile, so they tend to break down quickly in the cooking process. They’re particularly well suited for lentil soup and for stews and casseroles.
Puy lentils are considered by many to be the best lentil because of their unique peppery flavour and the fact they hold their shape during cooking.
Brown lentils are slightly stronger in flavour than green lentils, with a solid skin. Use them in soups, casseroles, rice dishes and savoury bakes.
The last few days have felt a bit wintery and I have been craving soup – this recipe is from the great foodie blog www.scalingbackblog.com.
It’s totally delicious and good for you too.
Red Lentil Coconut Soup
2 cups Red Split Lentils
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Red Pepper, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 fresh Jalapeno Chili, finely chopped, including seeds
1 tablespoon fresh, peeled and minced Ginger
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Curry Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Salt
1/3 cup Tomato Paste
7 cups Water
1 tin unsweetened light Coconut Milk
425g tin of Chickpeas
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Lime Juice
fresh Coriander and Lime wedges for serving
- Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan and add the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno and cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened and start to take on some colour.
- Add the garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is toasty and fragrant.
- Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas and cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes, adding the lime juice at the end of cooking.
- Taste and adjust with more salt or more lime juice if desired. Serve the soup topped with a sprinkling of fresh coriander and some extra limes on the side.