LENTIL/CHICKPEA SOUP: One Ingredient Made All The Difference!

lentil-chickpea soup1 textNeedless 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. caldo verde4Chop the greens into 1″ (approximately) pieces.lentil-chickpea soup9

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. lentil-chickpea soup6Add in the ginger, garlic, paprika, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes – bloom 1 minute. (Blooming brings out the flavors.)lentil-chickpea soup8Add in 1/4 cup cilantro and 2 T parsley – bloom for another 1 minute. lentil-chickpea soup7Add 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. lentil-chickpea soup2Add in the tomatoes (plus their juice) and orzo. Partially cover and let simmer for 7 minutes.lentil-chickpea soup3 Add in the Swiss chard (or whatever greens you want) and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. lentil-chickpea soup4Add in the lemon juice, remaining 2 T parsley and 2 T cilantro, and the Feta. lentil-chickpea soup5Taste for seasoning. (I added 1/2 tsp salt.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s