Dirt ~

Happy New Year!  May your 2016 bring you joy, prosperity and love… put the phone down and share something remarkable with a human! 
If you are planning to celebrate the New Year in the Southeast, it is most likely that you will be offered black-eyed peas in some form, either just after midnight or on New Year’s Day. From grand gala gourmet dinners to small casual gatherings with friends and family, these flavorful legumes are traditionally, according to Southern folklore, the first food to be eaten on New Year’s Day for luck and prosperity throughout the year ahead.  
These flavorful legumes? Are they joking? Well, up until about 6 years ago, I would have argued up and down, ’til I was blue in the face… I felt the same way about lentils.  Lentils have been the source of guilt for me lately… You see, people have asked me for recipes for Lentil Soup, or asked how I would make lentils. And I would give them a recipe or recipe suggestion… without having TRIED it, without liking the little protein-packed morsels!  Well, that all changed when I passed the whole foods section of “Greenfields Market”, this phenomenal little market with amazing produce, bulk grains, dry beans, and yes, lentils!  There they were, staring at me, Beluga Lentils, Puy Lentils, Yellow Lentils or Toor Dal, and the most common: the brown lentil.  I saw the protein content, realized I couldn’t go without giving them an honest to goodness shot ~ 
Lentils
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock/broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup lentil of choice
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp mexican oregano, rubbed in hands to release oils and flavor
  • salt to taste
  • 3 T  hot pepper sauce, + more for serving
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat; add olive oil and butter; sauté onion, garlic, red pepper and oregano, just until onion becomes translucent. Be careful not to let garlic burn. Stir in lentils and brown rice until glistening, about 2 minutes; add chicken stock, water and pepper sauce, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  You may need to add more water (up to 1/3 cup). Add salt ~  serve with additional hot sauce. 
Black-Eyed Peas
  • 1 bag black-eyed peas
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small hot pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper, thinly chopped
  • 1 tsp dry thyme, or 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • ham or bacon, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sort and rinse peas. Cook according to package in boiling, salted water. After peas have cooked for 30 minutes, sauté onion, garlic, thyme, bell peppers and hot pepper in olive oil in skillet; add ham or bacon, if using (even turkey bacon works!). Add onion mixture to black-eyed peas, simmer an additional 25-40 minutes. Eat ’em up!  (They’re not just for New Year’s Day in the south!)

Go on! I dare you to grab a bag of black-eyed peas and lentils from the dry bean section of your store… Versatile, FAST, and simply delish!
Ginger flavors the creamed lentil soup and spiced carmelized onions make a fabulous garnish for this rich soup from India. You will need a food processor or blender to puree the cooked lentils.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups red lentils
  • 4 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, finely shredded
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional

Preparation:

Pick over the lentils, removing any stones or misshapen or discolored lentils. Rinse thoroughly and place in a nonreactive deep pot. Add the chicken broth or water,turmericginger, and tomatoes bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes

One Comment Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on delectablediction and commented:

    Dishing a little dirt your way today – enjoy!

    Like

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