Cooking with lentils challenge

After attending the Cooking with Lentils Workshop earlier this week I wanted to feed off the inspiration and try cooking a couple other lentil dishes to practice my new skill. Canadian Lentils is also having its Lentil Recipe Revelations Challenge contest so I figured now would be as good a time as any. I decided to make two recipes using red lentils – one that was more common (lentil soup) and one that was a little different (lentil brittle).

The first recipe I made was a red lentil soup that when pureed, looked a lot like butternut squash soup. I just love the texture of pureed soup and the red lentils are a great way to get some added protein and fibre.

Red Lentil Soup – serves 4

Ingredients:
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon, cumin and tumeric and coriander
1 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and fry until the onions are translucent – about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, lentils, tomato paste, cinnamon, cumin, tumeric and coriander. Stir well and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once the soup comes up to a boil bring it down to a simmer and let it continue to cook for 25-35 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Add the yogurt and red pepper flakes. Let cool slightly and then blend with a stand or immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 Red lentil soup

The second recipe I made was a lentil brittle. I figured it could be great for people who need to be careful with respect to peanut allergies. I just took a standard peanut brittle recipe and substituted the peanuts with red lentils. It turned out great.

Lentil brittle – serves 8

Ingredients:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup red lentils
1 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions:
Combine corn syrup, sugar, salt and water in a sauce pan on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until dissolved. Add lentils and stir until temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) or when the mixture forms hard threads when dropped into a bowl of ice water.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and baking soda. Stir until combined. Working quickly, pour the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with a silicon liner or wax paper. Take a spatula and spread it out evenly.

Let cool for about 15-20 minutes. Break into pieces and enjoy.

lentil brittle