Soaking lentils play a critical part in my traditional cooking repertoire. Low in phytic acid and other anti-nutrients, lentils require only a quick soak before they are ready to cook – unlike beans. If you sometimes have trouble digesting beans like I do, even when properly soaked and cooked, lentils are a wonderful alternative.
There are 3 types of lentils: green, brown, and red. I typically use green lentils as they hold their shape very well after cooking, but I have recently found the red lentil to be simply delightful in soups.
When combined in a dish with rich, homemade stock as shown in this week’s video, lentils make an economical, nutritious alternative to meat. The gallon of lentil soup I make in this video only cost about $5 – and I used organic vegetables and organic lentils! This is about 25 cents a serving!
Even the cheapest fast food can’t beat that!
In these tough economic times, incorporating lots of lentils into your meals is a smart way to keep the food budget in check without sacrificing anything in nutrition!
Incidentally, Dr. Weston A. Price considered lentils to be the most nutritious of all legumes as they are loaded with potassium,, calcium, zinc, iron, and B vitamins. I first learned this at the 2007 Wise Traditions Conference during Sally Fallon Morell’s talk on “Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner’. The soup recipe I show you how to make in this video is an adaptation of the lentil soup recipe Sally discussed during that seminar.
I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has over the past few years!
Soaking Lentils How-to Video
Soaking Lentils Recipe
3 cups organic, green lentils (only use red lentils if you are going to make soup with them as red lentils disintegrate after cooking)
3 TBL liquid whey or raw apple cider vinegar
Put lentils in a large pot and fill with filtered water. Stir in liquid whey or apple cider vinegar, put lid on the pot and leave on the counter for about 7 hours but no more than 18.
Drain soaking water and rinse drain lentils again.
Your lentils are now ready for cooking and you may use them in whatever dish you choose or proceed to the next step to make lentil soup.
Basic Soaked Lentil Soup Recipe
Makes approximately 1 gallon of soup
3 cups red or green lentils, soaked for 7 hours, rinsed and drained
3 organic onions, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 TBL butter
2 TBL extra virgin olive oil
2 quarts beef, chicken, or turkey stock (or a combination – half stock, half filtered water is ok too)
1/2 tsp green peppercorns, ground
1/8 – 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Sea salt to taste
In a large pot, cook onions and carrots in butter and extra virgin olive oil until soft (about 20-30 minutes). Add stock and lentils and bring to a boil. Skim off foam that rises to the top just before boiling with a large, slotted spoon. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender – about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and curry paste if desired.
Blend soup with a handheld blender right in the pot. Taste. Add ground green peppercorns and sea salt as desired.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sources: Nourishing Traditions Cookbook
“Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner”, Sally Fallon Morell (2007 Wise Traditions Conference)
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