Lentil Soup

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Does anyone have a good lentil soup recipe, chicken broth based? I went to this Armenian restaurant last night and had the most delicious cup of their lentil soup. It reminded me of a thick, chicken rice soup. I've never cooked with lentils either. Is it similar to cooking rice?
 
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not really, rice you have to add to boiling water , then simmer and let set, fluff with fork and serve. Lentils can e pan sauteed in butter or oil, no need to immerse in water they will still cook through nicely, You can boil them like rice but they cook a lot faster then beans or rice even though they are also a legume.  They come in a variety of colors and each cooks a little differently. The pinks or orange ones tend to cook up the tenderest the dark green or blackish ones tend to stay the firmest (perfect for a nice salad) and you can mix colors for for eye appeal and textures.
The simplest way to experiment is to take your basic chicken soup recipe and when you are sauteeing your mire poix add the lentils in with an extra knob of butter or splash of oil. if you want it creamy add broth and blitz it then add your chicken (cooked before hand ) You can also make split pea like soup using lentils.

minor hijack, anyone got a good recipe for Dahl?
 
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Strange. I must have a dozen or more lentil soup recipes in my files, and none of them are chicken-stock based.

I've got an Armenian one that uses lamb stock. I don't see any reason you couldn't sub if you wanted to:

Vosbov Abour
(Armenian Lentil Soup)

Six cups lamb stock
1 cup red lentils, washed
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium onion, halved and sliced in half-moons
1/4 cup butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish

Bring the stock to boil. Add lentils and return to boil, skimming if needed. Partly cover and let lentils simmer.

Heat half the butter in a skillet and saute the chopped onions until lightly colored. Add to the lentils, cover pan tightly, and simmer until tender, about an hour. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Saute the remaining onion in the balance of the butter until golden brown.

Serve the soup in bowls, garnished with some of the fried onions and a sprinkling of paprika.

One thing interesting about this recipe is that it's one of the few I have using lentils that cooks them directly in boiling water. Most use an approach similar to the one Gunnar suggests.

I'd have expected Armenian and Turkish recipes to be very similar. But all the Turkish versions I have saute the lentils.

BTW, have you considered asking the restaurant for their recipe? You'd be surprised at how often restaurants are willing to share---especially ethnic recipes, which are please that you find their native foods so appealing you want to make them at home.
 
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I think lentils are particularly good with garlic (and also with spinach). 

I sautee a few garlic cloves, crushed, in olive oil till soft, then add lentils and water to cover.  You could use broth, just that i can't find broth here unless i make it myself, and if i go through the work to make it, i want to enjoy it on its own.  
Lots of black pepper, salt to taste. 
When lentils are almost cooked, add spinach (chopped up is better)
You can add rice, or toast some nice rustic bread and rub garlic on it, put it in the bowl and pour the thick soup on top of it. 

I like it best with the little dark green lentils from castelluccio.  They don;t get mushy and are very tasty.  They're about the size of barley but round. 
 
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oooo thats my favorite i have it work once a week, dont know much about how they make it but its good. i also had a nice one in a mediteranian place that i went 2 weeks ago.
 
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Good Recipe KYH - stealing it /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif   A question though - the lamb stock - would it need a bit of acidity to balance out the natural fattiness, or do the onions do that for the dish?  Say, for example, some grated lemon rind and/or juice of the lemon?

I  really enjoy red lentils too - have added them to my repertoire over the last few years, especially into soups and rice dishes.  Plus they are quick to cook which is always a bonus.  I've always used split green peas, Love them for pea and ham soup.

Siduri - pretty much the only thing I don't add garlic to is desserts - although I would be interested if someone had a suggestion as to how it could be utilised.  Candied garlic? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif
 
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We must make our stocks differently, DC, cuz I don't find lamb stock to be particularly fatty. Plus I often substitute venison stock when a recipe calls for lamb, because I have more of it most of the time.

Even so, I'd imagine that the percentage of onions in this soup would cut any richness. If not, then, yeah, a squirt of lemon juice to lighten it up wouldn't hurt. But try it first without the acid. You can always add some after the fact.

As to garlic in desserts, it's not that uncommon. Garlic ice cream, perhaps, being the most typical. Awhile back, garlic restaurants like The Stinking Rose were all the rage. Garlic cookbooks natually followed, each with their chapters on dessert. In Linda & Fred Griffith's Garlic Garlic Garlic, for instance, there's even a recipe for apple spice cake with roasted garlic.
 
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Here's one that goes in a different direction from most lentil soups, but it's really good. The recipe comes from Carol Gelles' Wholesome Harvest:

Sweet Potato-Red Lentil Soup

1 tbls oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups water
2 cups orange juice
2 tbls brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmet
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground red pepper
2 1/2 cups peeled sweet potato in 1" cubes
3/4 cup red lentils

Heat oil over medium high heat in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft. Add the water, orange juice, brown sugar, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and red pepper; bring to a boil. Add the sweet potato and lentils; cook, uncovered, over medium heat, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and, stirring frequently, simmer 10 minutes longer or until the lentils dissolve and the sweet potatoes are soft.

Thin, if necessary, with boiling water. This is a very thick soup.
 
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Thanks for the info on the desserts KYH -  will have to look into it more.  My palate is not very sugar hungry, so perhaps garlic desserts might suit.  The apple spice cake with garlic sounds interesting.

With lamb stock, I generally use lamb necks and all the usual suspects and usual methods.  I do make sure to chill then skim the fat cap = maybe i am just used to using chicken and beef stocks.  Will try it as suggested then add lemon if it still has that "clingy" feel of fat.
 
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Thanks for the info on the desserts KYH -  will have to look into it more.  My palate is not very sugar hungry, so perhaps garlic desserts might suit.  The apple spice cake with garlic sounds interesting.
 
I think deserts with garlic would be suited for people who don't like deserts! 
I love garlic, but i also love deserts, and would not even want to smell a garlic desert.  Some people enjoy a dish of cheese as desert, but again, much as i LOVE cheese, and could probably live on it, it wouldn't be desert for me. 
 
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Here ya go, DC:

Apple Spice Cake with Roasted Garlic

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbls unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
Juice of 1 large lemon
3 large, tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped medium-fine
8 tbls (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
Flesh of 2 heads roasted garlic
2 tbls ruby port or applejack
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tbls confectioner's sugar

Preheat over to 350F. Thoroughly butter a 9-inch round cake pan.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.

Combine lemon zest, lemon juice and apple pieces in a medium-sized bowl. Mix with your hands to thoroughly coat apples. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter thoroughly. Gradually add sugar, beating vigorously and scraping sides several times. Beat in garlic and port, scraping sides several times. Add egg and beat until mixture is smooth.

Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with milk. Blend at low speed, scraping sides of mixing bowl several times. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in apple mixture. Stir in pecans. Blend thoroughly.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan, smoothing top with a spatula. Bake until cake shrinks from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 60-75 minutes.

Transfer cake to rack and cool. Cover cake pan with a large plate or another rack and invert to release cake. Remove baking pan. Place a serving plate over cake bottom and flip cake over, top side up. Sift confectioners' sugar over cake.

Serve plain, or with whipped cream or Honey-Poached Garlic Sauce.

Recipe comes from Garlic Garlic Garlic, by Linda & Fred Griffith.
 
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My wife makes an excellent lentil soup with...ummm...lentils, onion celery and carrots...oh...and chicken stock...the only spice she uses is a bit of cumin and this is a lovely lovely soup.
 
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KYH - that recipe sounds like me.  Thank you very much for posting it.
One question though, being not from the us - what is applejack?  I am assuming Ruby Port is like a tawny port...maybe?

Siduri - you are right - I am not a sweets person in general, and have been looking for a way to incorporate garlic into a desert.

I reckon this might be the one.
 
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Siduri - you are right - I am not a sweets person in general, and have been looking for a way to incorporate garlic into a desert.

 
Figured!  Anyway, enjoy it!  Or do as the old italian adage says "dal tavolo non si alza il saggio se la bocca non sa di formaggio" (The wise person doesn't get up from the table if his mouth doesn't taste of cheese). 
 
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DC,

From what I understand, ports are divided into two big groups. Tawny Port is young and Ruby is aged. Or maybe the other way around?

I don't think it would matter in this recipe.

Applejack is a uniquely American form of apple brandy. Traditionally it was fortified by freezing it, to remove water, and thus fortify the alcohol content. If you can't find it, no biggie. Just use Calvados. Or even just some apple cider. I mean we're talking 2 tablespoons of the stuff; how important can it be?
 
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Figured!  Anyway, enjoy it!  Or do as the old italian adage says "dal tavolo non si alza il saggio se la bocca non sa di formaggio" (The wise person doesn't get up from the table if his mouth doesn't taste of cheese). 

 
Siduri - great saying - I like that.  I've learnt so many non-english words and phrases here - wonderful.



DC,

From what I understand, ports are divided into two big groups. Tawny Port is young and Ruby is aged. Or maybe the other way around?

I don't think it would matter in this recipe.

Applejack is a uniquely American form of apple brandy. Traditionally it was fortified by freezing it, to remove water, and thus fortify the alcohol content. If you can't find it, no biggie. Just use Calvados. Or even just some apple cider. I mean we're talking 2 tablespoons of the stuff; how important can it be?
I think the Tawny must be younger as it is generally cheaper, so Ruby (whatever name it goes by here) would be the more aged, therefore more expensive.  Thanks for the tip on Applejack - I was imagining it must be something along those lines.  2Tbsps....you're right, it won't make that much of a difference.

Thanks for the feedback.
 
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DC, you've got it a bit backwards but unless you're drinking it the type of port won't matter too much in the recipe.  Tawny gets its colour (and therefore the name) from aging in wood.  Ruby is stored short term in stainless or other non-porous containers.  If you can get tawny port cheaper I'd say scoop it up.  (white port is something else altogether lol)


I've been trying to incorporate lentils into the regular menu for a while without a lot of success (beyond the lentil 'meatloaf' cooked in the browning and drippings of roasts).  These recipes and suggestions seem awesome, not to mention the Apple-garlic spice cake.  I also choose savoury over sweet with a remarkable consistancy.  If only bacon had been incorporated somehow it'd be perfect./img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif
 
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Charron, if you're customers are reacting to the word lentils, just downplay them in the description.

For instance, let's say you put together a lentil soup with bits of chicken added. The same people who would avoid "Lentil Soup with Chicken" are likely to look at "Chicken Soup with Lentils," and say to themselves, "hmmmmm. Maybe worth a try." After trying it they'll make realistic decisions as to whether or not they like the dish, rather than deciding based on bias.

Ahhhhh. Chicken Soup with Lentils. Bite-sized pieces of roasted chicken swimming in a sea of rich broth, thickened with the colorful addition of red lentils.

No it doesn't make sense. But we're dealing with people, and the reality is that people don't always behave sensibly, especially when food is involved.
 
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