Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lovely Lentils

We have put our house on the market.  Yes, I know it is not a good time to sell, but my husband thinks it's a great time to buy.  I don't know.  My skills lie elsewhere.   ANYWAY, because we have the house staged, nothing can be messed up or look "used".  When the realtor mentioned that little point my immediate thought was, "What about my kitchen?"  

You will all be happy to know that I have still have use of it, however my cooking has become quite simple and tidy.  Very simple.  Luckily I know just the go-to food for a simple and satisfying meal: lentils. 

I just love lentils.  All types too.  Red, French Green, Brown, Yellow.   I adore their creamy texture and easy with which they incorporate into other dishes.  When it comes to quick cooking, red lentils are the way to go.  This soup comes together in about 25 minutes.  No joke!  Serve it with a green salad or over your favorite grain (I prefer basmati brown rice) or BOTH.  Be sure to add the squeeze of lemon at the end.  It provides the perfect zing to balance out the other spices.

Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup 
Serves 4-5

This is a delicious soup that comes together in no time!  Serve over brown rice with a big green salad and you are ready to go.

2 cups red lentils
7-8 cups water, depending on how thick you like your soup
2 medium red onions, chopped
2 cups Swiss chard, chopped (you can use green, red or rainbow chard)
Generous handful of chopped fresh cilantro + extra for garnish
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp coriander seeds
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Grated zest of half a lemon

Wash the lentils in cold water until the water is no longer cloudy. Place in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the lentils are soft (about 30 minutes), skimming off any scum on the surface.

While the lentils are cooking, sauté the onions in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the Swiss chard, stirring once or twice until the leaves begin to wilt.  Add the cooked onions, chard and fresh coriander to the lentils.  Then add the cumin and cinnamon with a little salt.  Mix well.

Simmer the soup for another five minutes. While the soup is simmering, crush the coriander seeds and garlic together in a mortar and pestle. (You can use a coffee grinder for coriander seeds and a garlic press for the garlic and then mix them together).  Stir into the lentil soup and let it stand, covered, for five minutes.

Stir in fresh cilantro and the lemon zest just before serving.  Enjoy!


  1. I love red Lentils! They are so pretty and delicious. Your touch of adding coriander seeds & garlic paste sounds really good. I have to try it next time. The leftover should be great pureed as well.. like those in Turkey! Good luck with the sale of the house!

  2. Yum! Looks good. I guess I know whats for dinner tomorrow!

  3. Where are you going to live??

  4. I have no idea! I think we will rent until we find something to buy. Don't worry, we are staying local. Miss you!


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