What’s cooking?

The other night I overcooked a huge quantity of beautiful French – puy -lentils. That wasn’t my intention.

I love these little pulses: they don’t need pre-soaking, they cook in 20 minutes, they’re chewy and nutty and earthy, and they’re the best lentils for tossing through a salad or a tray-bake. Sadly they lose their culinary charm when cooked until mushy.

Anyway, turns out overcooked French lentils are perfect instead of the common big green ones which you’d typically use in Greek lentil soup.

We made another surprise discovery in these #safeathome #iso times when making do is a good idea: pomegranate molasses makes a fine substitute for tomato paste and red wine vinegar, often suggested in recipes for this soup.

We served ours with Greek yoghurt, torn rocket (arugula) and toasted pinenuts. With good sourdough on the side it’s a one-pot meal. You could also use fresh flat parsley, fresh marjoram or oregano as a garnish.

There are many online recipes for Greek lentil soup and they’re all simple and consistent with each other.

We made ours with very good olive oil. Most recipes suggest a large quantity of it. We used a bit less and still ended up with a silky-smooth soup.

Lentils, onions, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, carrot, freshly made vegetable stock, salt & pepper and the pomegranate molasses were all we needed.

Some basic nutritional info: lentils provide inexpensive plant protein and fibre and are a prebiotic food. Here’s what the people at Monash University have to say about prebiotics:

Because prebiotics are a relatively new discovery, evidence supporting their health benefit is only beginning to emerge. Some health benefits attributed to prebiotic intake includes modulation of the gut microbiota, improved mineral absorption, possible protection against colon cancer, improved blood glucose and insulin profiles, protection against intestinal infections and alterations in the progress of some inflammatory conditions.

https://www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/gastroenterology/prebiotic/faq

Other important nutrients in this meal:

  • more ‘good bugs’ and some protein in the yoghurt
  • healthy fats in the olive oil and pine nuts
  • fibre, flavour and some mineral and vitamins from the carrots and onions
  • a big hit of garlic to keep people away ;-)

For those of you who need to follow the FODMAPS diet, I’m sorry this soup won’t sit well with you.

In clinic, my clients and I often explore nutrition and recipes as part of our holistic approach.

During these COVID-19 days where a telehealth online consultation is our primary service, chatting about food and nutrition is an enjoyable and vital part of the process.

Is telehealth for you? Go here for more information.

Happy cooking!

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