So not all recipes turn out how they are supposed to…tonight’s kitchen experiment is a great example. I got the inspiration from a cook book and modified some minor things…at least I thought they were minor. It turns out that maybe brown lentils (as suggested by the recipe) and little green lentils (as I used) may not cook the same way.
The taste of the soup was great but the lentils stayed chewy, even after pouring the content of the crock pot into a pot to simmer on the stove for an additional 35 minutes. So I will have to do some reading about the different types of lentils, because they may not be used interchangeably as I thought. I will definitely try this recipe again with brown lentils.
Ingredients (2-3 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 large carrot (I love using rainbow carrots)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
5 cups vegetable stock (2 1/2 veggie bouillon cube and 5 cups water)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. Stir occassionally.
2. Meanwhile pick over the lentils and rinse them. An easy way to pick over the lentils is to spread them out on raised baking sheet (see picture). You do not want to miss this step. Check for anything that is not a lentil (e.g., tiny rocks) and damaged lentils. After picking over the lentils, make sure to rinse them. If they are too small for your strainer, place them in a bowl. Gently fill bowl with water and carefully drain the water. REpeat 2 or 3 times.
3. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a 3.5 quart crock pot, add the lentils, water, veggie bouillon cubes, and soy sauce. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Trouble shooting: The soup was still very “soupy” and the lentils were still harder than expected after 7 hours. So I increased the temperature to high for the last hour, with not much success. I ended up pouring the Crock pot content in a large pot and simmered the soup for an additional 35 minutes on medium heat on the stove. The soup thickened a lot, but the lentils were still not as soft as I thought they should be.
Based on the package instructions, the lentils should be simmered for 35-40 minutes. Since I had never cooked with little green lentils before, I will now have to read up on the different types of lentils and their corresponding characteristics.