Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Winter lentils

Last week was crazy but now I'm here again with a very energetic and comforting soup. This weekend has been very cold and wet so yesterday I decided to cook this winter lentils but...imagine my surprise when this morning I woke up and realized the sun was shining and the temperatures had risen to 17ÂșC. Anyway I have eaten this for lunch and it was great!! I strongly recomend you to try this recipe, it only has advantages: it's cheap, tasty quick and easy!

Ingredients (serves 8)
500gr lentils
3 carrots
1 onion
1 potato
1 tomato
1/2 leek
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic
"Chorizo" (or some bacon, black pudding...)
Olive oil

1. Put the lentils to soak for 2-3 hours ,warm water. (this step is not necessary if you use pardina lentils)
2. Heat some oil in the pressure cooker and  stir-fry the sliced vegetables (not the potato) for 5-10 min.
3. Add the lentils, sliced potato, bay, garlic and the pork. The pork is not essential, actually if you are trying to take care of your health don't use it, it will taste great anyway. Fry for 2 more minutes.
4.Add water and salt (1 and 1/2 tablespoon approx) until you cover the lentils and about 1.5 cm more. (If you like it more like a soup add a bit more, if you prefer drier lentils a bit less).
5. Close the pressure cooker. Wait until it makes that typical sound and reduce the heating from max to half. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes and remove from heat. Wait until you can open, and once you can check if you like the result, if you want it more cooked, heat without covering for 10 minutes more...but it shouldn't be necessary.

If you don't have a pressure cooker the only difference is that you will have to cook for 60 minutes approx. I normally use pardina lentils (the small dark ones I show in the picture), if you use any other you will have to cook for a bit longer. If you have home made tomato sauce add two tablespoons at step 2. Bon profit!!

Interesting to know about lentils...

1. Originated in India and eaten by humans for more than 10.000 years.
2. High level of vegetal proteins.
3. High level of fiber.
4. High level of carbohydrates (energy).
5. Combined with rice give a perfect combination of amino acids, vitamins and micronutrients.
6. Low level of lipids (fat).
7. Satiating effect.
8. Good against fluid retention.
9. As they provide folate (turned into folic acid) lentils are good to prevent depression and moodiness.
10. Not good for those with uric acid problems.

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