Probably one of the primary reasons I can’t get behind a paleo diet is that you’re not allowed to eat lentils, which is (in my opinion, which is right) cruel and unusual punishment. Second only to falafel, lentils (in any form) might be one of my most favorite foods on the planet, and I make them all through the fall and winter. They’re dirt cheap, satisfying and heartwarming.
And I don’t care if cavemen ate them.
I first fell in love with lentils while living in Spain.
Lentil Soup (Lentejas): “When I studied abroad in Spain I lived with a single mom and her teenaged daughter. Vegetarianism is not the norm in Madrid and was especially foreign to poor Sofia. Still, she was being paid to house and feed me and took her job very seriously. She would scour rare specialty stores for new ingredients so I wouldn’t get bored with the same things week after week. She would often ask me what they were and what to do with them, but by the end of my three-month stay she was a pro. One dish she made frequently that required no guidance from me was her lentil soup,lentejas in Spanish. “Quieres lentejas?” she would ask. Did I want lentils? Hell yes I wanted lentils. I would eat them for days on end.”
When I got back home and started making lentils myself, they quickly became my favorite morning hangover food. This can’t possibly be normal but it’s true.
I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me until this year to start making some new variations of this old favorite, but I’m glad I did.
The simple addition of coconut milk for its creaminess, walnuts for their crunch, and curry powder for its warm aroma, morphs this dish into something entirely new (and entirely awesome).
- 2 cups dried lentils
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 can light coconut milk
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Warm olive oil in a large pot over med-high heat
- Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute until tender
- Towards the end of your saute time, toss in garlic and curry powder (save it for the end so you don’t burn it) and let the flavors meld for a couple minutes
- Add lentils, broth, coconut milk, and walnuts
- Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook about 30 minutes
I am currently dying for a spontaneous trip abroad and this post + (what I hope to be, please god) a hefty tax return are not helping my rational mind’s cause to keep me in the US of A. Nope.
Where is my passport…