Needless to say, having a food blog, I cook a lot! Not only do I prepare tried and true favorites, but I’m always on the search for something new. As we all have preferences in tastes, I often tweak other’s recipes to suit myself.
But every now and then, there’s a recipe upon which I write in bold letters: DON’T MAKE AGAIN!!! (yes, I include the exclamation points). That’s what happened when I made the original recipe for Lentil-Chickpea Soup. However, due to my frugal nature and disdain for waste, I thought long and hard about what could be added to make it, at least, palatable. I always have Feta cheese on hand, so I figured, “why not”.
This dish instantly went from 0 to 100! Lesson learnt.
Note: Prepare all the ingredients ahead of time. There’s quite a bit of very short-term cooking before adding the next ingredients. If everything is ready to go, you can zip through a lot faster.
LENTIL-CHICKPEA SOUP – makes about 6 cups
- 2½ T olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1/2 T fresh ginger, grated or minced
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup + 2 T cilantro, divided
- 2 T + 2 T parsley, divided
- 4 cups vegetable stock (homemade or store-bought)
- 15-oz can chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), drained & rinsed
- 1/2 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
- 14-oz canned whole tomatoes, chopped (including liquid)
- 1/4 cup orzo
- 3 leaves Swiss chard (or other green)
- 1 T lemon juice
- 4 oz Feta cheese, crumbled
Wash the Swiss chard, then remove and discard the spine. Chop the greens into 1″ (approximately) pieces.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium/high heat and add in the onions and celery. Sauté until the onions start to get a little brown – about 7 minutes. Add in the ginger, garlic, paprika, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes – bloom 1 minute. (Blooming brings out the flavors.)Add in 1/4 cup cilantro and 2 T parsley – bloom for another 1 minute. Add in the vegetable stock, chickpeas, and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover with the lid slightly askew and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add in the tomatoes (plus their juice) and orzo. Partially cover and let simmer for 7 minutes. Add in the Swiss chard (or whatever greens you want) and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add in the lemon juice, remaining 2 T parsley and 2 T cilantro, and the Feta. Taste for seasoning. (I added 1/2 tsp salt.)