Lovely Lentil Recipes

  in Blog

Not sure what to do with lentils? In addition to soups, lentils are wonderful in salads, and their dense, meaty texture makes them appropriate for vegetarian loaves. Try one of our recipes that feature French, brown, and red lentils.

French Lentil Quinoa Salad

1 1/4 cup French green lentils
1/3 cup quinoa
1 red pepper, diced small
1 large tomato, diced medium
3 green onions, sliced
¼ cup parsley, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon dried oregano or 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh oregano
Pinch cayenne pepper
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Mixed salad greens

  1. Place lentils in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil; cook for 25 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon seasalt during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Lentils should still be somewhat firm. Drain the lentils. While the lentils are cooking, bring quinoa and pinch of seasalt to a boil in 2/3 cup water; cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the pepper, tomato, onions, and parsley.
  3. In a separate small bowl add the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, oregano, and cayenne and whisk thoroughly. When lentils and quinoa are cooled, add to the mixed vegetables. Pour dressing over the salad, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir gently. Serve over a bed of greens.

Lentil Nutloaf

2 cups brown lentils
4 cups water
2 onions, chopped fine
2 cups mushrooms, chopped fine
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups nuts, your choice, ground fine (walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts}
2 cups cooked bulgur*
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tamari
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs such as thyme, rosemary, marjoram, savory, parsley
Optional: 1/4 cup ketchup

  1. Grease 2 loaf pans and set aside.
  2. Bring water and lentils to a boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until soft, about 35 minutes. Allow to cool.
  3. While lentils are cooking, saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms in oil over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix vegetables and herbs with tamari, bulgur and lentils until well combined.
  4. Press evenly into into prepared loaf pans, brush with optional ketchup, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.

* To cook bulgur: Bring 2 cups water and pinch salt to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in bulgur, cover, turn heat off, and let sit for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Thai Chili

2 tablespoons sesame, coconut or olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 1/2 cups red lentils
4 cups vegetable stock
1 13.5-oz can coconut milk
1 small white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 large tomato, finely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 handful of spinach leaves, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
optional garnishes: 
pine nuts, pistachios or diced avocado

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add remaining ingredients except for spinach. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Just before serving, add the spinach and cilantro, garnish with cilantro and your choice of additional options.

Bavarian Lentil Soup

4 oz. smoky bacon, chopped*
1 large onion, diced small
2 stalks celery, diced small
2 carrots, diced small
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups brown lentils, soaked 8 hours or overnight, drained
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 bay leaf
1 large yellow potato, unpeeled, diced small
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish
Crème fraîche 

  1. Heat a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain some of the fat if desired but keep 1 tablespoon in the pot.
  2. Add the onions, celery, and carrots to the pot. Saute 5-7 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the broth, lentils, potato, bacon, thyme, bay leaf, marjoram, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
  4. Remove bay leaf and stir in vinegar. Taste and add more salt if needed. Ladle into bowls, add a dollop of Crème fraîche and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with rustic bread and butter.

Mujadara – Lentils & Rice with Caramelized Onion

1 cup white basmati rice
1 cup brown lentils
4 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large yellow or red onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper
Optional: Plain yogurt or sour cream, fresh chopped parsley

  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until deeply browned, about 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Add the lentils and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add the rice, half the cooked onions, cumin, and the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 22 – 25 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Serve with remaining caramelized onion on top along with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle of parsley.

Red Lentil Soup

2 cups red lentils
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 cups water
1 large onion, diced small
4 celery stalks, diced small
2 large carrots, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
sea salt and white pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  1. Bring lentils, broth, and 4 cups water to a simmer in large pot. Skim away foam that rises to top. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Add curry powder, and cumin, and cook 20 minutes more, or until lentils are soft. Season with salt and pepper and add cilantro, if desired, and stir in lemon juice.

Lentil Salad with Bacon

1 cup brown lentils
3 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, diced small
1 stalk celery, diced small
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped 
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar 
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

  1. Bring lentils and 4 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking stir in a generous sprinkling of salt. Drain well and let cool. 
  2. Cook bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.  
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, oil, salt and pepper. Add lentils, onion, celery, parsley and bacon and toss to coat.

Mulligatawny Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large yam, peeled, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 quart vegetable stock
2 cups red lentils
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste

  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and yam and sauté for 8 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook 2 more minutes. 
  2. Add the vegetable stock, red lentils and tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 25 – 30 minutes until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in beans and coconut milk. Cook another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and cayenne.