Posts Tagged ‘Lentil’

Minestrone (The Big Soup)

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve held off making this soup for an age. Mainly because the traditional Irish vegetable soup ticks all the boxes and that’s what I’d normally go with. Today I fancied something different, so here it is.


  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp of sea salt crystals
  • a large pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 red onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • ¼ red pepper
  • ¼ orange pepper
  • ¼ yellow pepper
  • 2 closed cup mushrooms
  • 50g soup broth
  • 25g red lentils
  • 100g pasta (any type)
  • ½ tsp pimento powder
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of mushroom ketchup (optional)
  • 1 tsp of vegetable stock powder
  • 1 can/carton of chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5 litres of boiling water


Place a large saucepan (at least 3l capacity) over a medium heat and add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Chop the onions roughly, crush the garlic and add to the pan. Dice the carrots, celery, peppers and mushrooms and add to the pan once the onion has softened. Next, add the soup broth, lentils and pasta followed by the spices, balsamic (mushroom ketchup, if using) and vegetable stock. Stir well and add the tomatoes.

Once the tomatoes start to bubble, add the water 500ml at a time allowing to come to a simmer between adding each batch. Cover and allow to boil for 15 minutes before reducing the heat to simmer for a further hour and a half or until the soup thickens and the soup broth pulses soften. Add small amounts of water during cooking, if needed.

Categories: Soup Tags: , , , , ,

Nut Burgers

September 1, 2009 Leave a comment

This fine fare makes the ideal accompanyment to some roasted root veg, goat’s cheese and nutmeg mash generously lashed with onion and mushroom gravy with a hint of cider. One good reason to welcome autumn!


  • 100g mixed nuts (brazil, walnut, hazelnut, etc)
  • 75g red lentils
  • 1 stale heel of wholemeal bread
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 small/medium egg
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • a large pinch of salt


Rinse the red lentils well under running water in a small pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil and simmer vigourously for 5 mins. Meanwhile, chop the onion and fry gently in a frying pan large enough to hold the lentils as well as the onion. Once the onion starts to brown and the lentils have been simmered, spoon the lentils into the frying pan and reduce the heat. Add the spices, stir and let cook for 2-3 minutes.

In a food processor, whizz the mixed nuts just enough to break them down but leave some texture and then do the heel of bread into coarse crumbs. Combine the lentils, nuts and breadcrumbs with the parsley, salt and egg in a bowl and stir together.

To cook, split the mixture in two and fashion into patties. Coat with a tablespoon of oil (groundnut or rapeseed work well) each and place on a baking tray in the oven at 180° C for around 30 minutes.

Categories: Burgers Tags: , ,

Spicy Lentil Burgers

March 22, 2009 Leave a comment

This recipe is inspired by a veggie burger I had at an airport ~25 years ago (and much thinking about it since) coupled with something of a eureka moment I had while making dhansak a few weeks ago.


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (or ½ tsp fenugreek powder)
  • 75g puy lentil
  • 75g green lentil
  • 25g red lentil
  • 75g stale breadcrumbs
  • 2 large pinches of salt
  • 1 large pinch black pepper


Slice the onions and the chilli and crush the garlic. Heat a pan with the oil over a medium high heat and fry the onion, chilli and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add the lentils and fry for another 3-4 minutes then add the salt, pepper and spices. Add a splashes of water as needed if the mixture is too dry (abut 125ml of water in total over the entire cooking time). Grate the carrot and stir into the mix. After about 5 minutes turn off the heat and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Stir in the breadcrumbs.

The burger mix should be dry and quite sticky when it has cooled. The burger should bind well and be either shallow fried for 3-4 minutes each side or baked in the oven for 15-20 minutes with a dusting of polenta.

Categories: Burgers Tags:

Spicy Lentil and Tomato Soup

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

A delicious and hearty thick soup, an ideal lunchtime snack.


  • 250g red lentils
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 4 small onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 red finger chillies
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp pimento
  • 1 tsp salt
  • large pinch of black pepper
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock


Halve and deseed the red peppers and place skin side up on a baking tray under a grill on maximum heat. Chop the onions, carrots and celery while heating the oil in a large saucepan (that can hold 3-4 litres of liquid) at medium-high heat. Keep checking the peppers while chopping the other vegetables and make sure they blacken evenly over their skins.

Add the onions to the pan and stir, after a few minutes add the balsamic. Once the onions have softened and most of the balsamic has evaporated, add the remaining chopped vegetables and whole chillies and stir. The peppers should be done by now; remove the blackened skin and dice the remaining flesh and add to the pan. Add the pimento and basil along with the salt and pepper and stir. After 5 minutes add the lentils and stir well. Reduce the heat and add the can of tomatoes. Cover and let the mixture simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Add the first 500ml of vegetable stock. The lentils will quickly absorb the liquid at the start. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low so the soup simmers gently on the hob. Add more stock 250-500ml at a time as needed. Simmer for 1½-2 hours.

Finally, set aside to cool and purée in a food processor. For best reults store overnight in the fridge to allow the flavour to develop.

Categories: Soup Tags: , , ,


February 6, 2008 Leave a comment

This is another staple favourite; lentils and vegetables combine to create a sumptuous orange curry bursting with flavour and goodness!


  • 140g red lentils
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 1 orange or yellow pepper
  • 1 tbsp green paste
  • 1 tbsp masala mix
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 650ml of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 large pinch of sea salt


Chop the onion and soften in a pan over a medium-high heat in 4-6 tbsp of olive oil. Once the onion loses its colour, add the salt and green paste and fry off for a few minutes. Next, add the masala mix and lemon juice and fry for a further 4-5 minutes (add small amounts of water if the mixture starts to catch). Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer briskly for 10-15 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken nicely.

Mix the stock and add the purée to it. Add a third to the pan and stir in the (washed and soaked) lentils. Return to simmer while peeling and chopping the vegetables into equal sized chunks. Add the carrots and sweet potato and another third of the stock. After 5 minutes of simmering add the remaining vegetables and stock.

Keep simmering briskly for 15-20 minutes, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and allow to “sauce up” (roughly another 30 minutes). It’s ready when suitably saucy and the sweet potato and carrots are cooked to taste. If it becomes too dry during this phase add small amounts of water to maintain the desired consistency. The lentils will absorb quite a bit of liquid during the reducing phase of cooking.


October 8, 2007 Leave a comment

I was introduced to Khichdi a few weeks ago and find it to be a great accompanyment to most curries. It’s very filling, simple to prepare and a great source of protein.


  • 60g long grain or brown rice
  • 30g red lentils
  • 15g green lentils
  • 225ml of cold water
  • A knob of butter/margarine
  • A pinch of salt (to taste)


Combine the rice and lentils in a pan. Add the salt, butter and water. Cover the pan and simmer until all the water is absorbed.

The above will make one portion. The basic rule of thumb is 3 parts rice, 2 parts red lentil, 1 part green lentil and 6 parts water.

Categories: Side dish Tags: ,