Saturday, April 11, 2015

Lebanese Red Lentil Project

A few weeks ago a buddy of mine and loyal reader sent me a recipe he made complete with pictures. I promised him I'd add it to this blog with the caveat that it might take me a while as I've been focusing on a number of cooking-related things, but seem to have less motivation than I should to write them down. I'm not sure what it is- work tires me out, I spend a lot of time walking my dog, I've been relatively active lately (bike rides, running, and now I'm learning to play golf through my employer's PE program--- it's awesome and I have actually hit the ball, which is a major step in the right direction), but it's not like I don't have any time at all, you know? 

Among my bigger culinary endeavors lately have been the brewing of a couple beers that I will submit to a local homebrew competition with the (very minuscule) hope of winning the grand prize which would be that my beer would be brewed by a local brewery and served at a local festival in November. I made an IPA and a Stout, both of which I think are quite good, but taking home any prize, much less the grand prize, is not easy. I'm also working on making Ice Cream with the thought that one day it might be fun to open an Ice Cream shop. It's probably fantasy more than anything, but the daily grind of working for others- even when they're very good employers- gets to me and I think I'd like to start something on my own one day. Either way, I've made a very good Chocolate Ice Cream, a decent Green Tea Ice Cream, and a Beer Ice Cream which I had to throw away due to excessive hoppiness but that I plan to try again this week along with a Blueberry Pie Ice Cream. 

All this is to say that I haven't stopped cooking even if I have stopped blogging about it. It'll come and go, but the following recipe (project?) is here for posterity. My friend writes:

It is the second week of Lent, and Lent sounds like Lentil, so Lentil Soup is the Soup that I hath made. This Soup gives me a bunch of Vegetable matter to consume over the next week. ​The recipe is from Serious Eats. I had a print-out of the recipe, but it is found at this (http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/02/slow-cooker-lebanese-red-lentil-soup.html) link [recipe copied below, the pictures are all his]. This recipe is straightforward. ​The main difficulty that I faced was the transfer of 4L of liquid three times. Careful pouring is required. Tip: Be generous with the cilantro and sparing with the lemon. The soup came out well -- 8 out of 10 

Lebanese Red Lentil Project


1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 chopped large White or Yellow Onion
2 Carrots peeled and chopped
2 Celery Stalks chopped
4 Cloves Garlic chopped
2 tsp Ground Cumin
0.5 tsp Cayenne
1.5 tsp Smoked Paprika

4 c. Dry Red Lentils
2 Bay Leaves
12-16 c. Low-Sodium Vegetable Stock or Water
Kosher Salt

1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

1 Large Red Onion minced
0.333 c. Cilantro Leaves chopped
1 Lemon sliced into wedges

Heat Olive Oil in a large pan and add Onion, Carrots, and Celery for about 5 minutes. Add Garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in Cumin, Cayenne, and Paprika and cook for another couple minutes.


Rinse Lentils.


Transfer mixture to a slow cooker and add the Lentils, Bay Leaves, and Stock. Add Salt to taste and let cook on low for about 4 hours adding liquid as necessary to maintain your desired consistency. 


Once cooked, discard Bay Leaves and puree in a blender or food processor with Vinegar. Serve with Red Onion and Cilantro on top and a Lemon wedge on the side.