Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lentil Madness

Guyssss I desperately need a good large stockpot. Currently scouting the second hand stores for something suitable.

In the space of  a week, two of our close friend couples (completely unrelated) told us that due to extreme financial difficulties, there would be major changes in their lifestyles. Not being able to do much, I still wanted to help, so I offered to share what I learned along the way about cooking on the way low end. This always being a very touchy subject, I just threw it in there and let them choose to do what they wanted. Meanwhile, I made one of the cheapest meals I know to make, and that would be lentil soup. Seriously the entire batch cost about 5-6$. I made two kinds, vegetable and curry.

The basis for any lentil soup, I think, is pretty similar. Celery, carrots, onions, garlic. Which is what I chopped up and divided into two large measuring cups, I didn't really measure each but I think 4 large onions (that, btw, I cheated and threw into the food processor because I hate chopping those), 1 1/2 cups each of carrots and celery (it was a bag each, didn't check the weight), and a head of garlic. I added a red bell pepper and half a jalapeno pepper without seeds to the curry cup, because I had those lying around in my fridge, and I figured it would add a little kick. Oh and a few spring onions into both for the same reason as the peppers.

Vegetable cup on the left, and curry on the right.

Got both of those started in different pots to sweat out with olive oil. After about 10 minutes, added 4 tbsp curry to one of the pots, mixed that in. Then I added a can of tomato  and let both cook an extra few minutes. I then added to each 12 cups of liquid (water in the vegetable pot, and chicken stock in the curry), and 4 cups of green lentils each (that i had thoroughly rinsed and drained prior). I also added a can of chickpeas that I had rinsed to the curry pot. Simply let that cook down, I think 1 1/2 hours, maybe more, until lentils are cooked through. I then took my hand blender to each for a few whirs to give it a thicker consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Veggie on the left, curry on the right.

It gave me that much. I don't know exactly how many portions, but I gave away to 6 families, plus the two original friends I had mentioned before (with the recipes), and a good lot of leftovers for myself. Fibre and protein and deliciousness and cheap. Doesn't get any better.

PS - 8 cups of lentils is how much 1 pkg of lentils in Super C (cost is 2.50$) is, if you don't eat them enough to buy in bulk.

Ingredients for vegetable lentil soup: 4 cups rinsed/drained green lentils, 12 cups of water (might need more, adjust accordingly), 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups each of carrots and celery, half a head of chopped garlic, s&p.

Ingredients for curry lentil soup: 4 cups rinsed/drained green lentils, 12 cups of chicken stock (might need more, adjust accordingly), 1 can of rinsed chickpeas, 1 1/2 cups each of carrots and celery, half a head of chopped garlic, 1 red bell pepper, 1/2 jalapeno pepper, 4 tbsp yellow curry powder, s&p.

1 comment:

  1. I miss lentils in my life. I have been taking probiotics daily to help with my digestive issues with milk...I've since cheated a few times (ie had milk) and my digestive issues seemed to have improved...hmmm...yumm. lentils.