While I was pregnant with Lou Who, lentils were pretty much the most disgusting thing in the world to me. It didn’t let up after the first trimester, either: the revulsion just wouldn’t go away until she was born, and I waited probably a month after the birth to try lentils again and see if I could handle them, and I didn’t gag. Awesome.
True story: my husband likes to grind lots of things into flours. He’s done pinto flour, black bean flour, and lentil flour, to name a few. Sometimes he puts these flours into our breakfast cereal, and usually I don’t bat an eye. While I was pregnant, we sat down one morning and I took a bite and my overactive taste buds kicked in as I took a couple more bites and asked him why there were lentils in mah breakfast. He couldn’t believe I could still tell it was there. I couldn’t finish the bowl, unfortunately, but after that there was no more lentil flour in my breakfast.
So, anyway, we can now proceed to incorporate lentils back into our normal lives again. Since they’re cheap, this is also awesome.
This lentil soup recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook has a nice blend of seasonings that appealed to me, and the bacon it called for I’ve replaced with liquid smoke, which was the perfect finishing touch: to me, it brought all the flavours together. I left it out for our soy-intolerant guests but added it to the leftovers afterwards and I felt it improved it a lot.
The lovely medley of seasonings in this soup
This recipe was originally found on page 125 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.
1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 medium onion, sliced
3/4 c sliced celery (about 3 stalks)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 c water
2 c dried lentils
2 tsp mock chicken seasoning
2 T snipped parsley
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes (or equivalent amount of fresh)
3/4 c sliced carrot
1 c water
2 T vegan bacon bits (optional)
Saute onion, celery, and garlic in a smidge of oil until tender. Stir in liquid smoke, 4 c water, lentils, chicken seasoning, parsley, salt, thyme, and bay leaf. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until soup thickens, about 45 minutes. Keep checking it; I had to add about 1 1/2-2 more cups of water as the lentils drank it up really quickly for me.
When lentils are soft, stir in tomatoes, carrots, and 1 c water. Simmer about 15 minutes, or until carrot reaches desired tenderness. Top with vegan bacon bits if desired and serve.