My boyfriend works in the photo fashion industry here in NYC but during the winter months they follow the sun and heat and that usually takes them to Florida, The Keys and California for 4 months out of the year – oh poor baby. He tends to miss home quite a bit but I say lucky him. He’s got a great tan and works on amazing shoots! While he’s away I tend to eat a lot of tasty salads for dinner with tofu or tempeh thrown in, beans, and plenty of other goodies such as seeds and curranst –it’s a fiesta in a bowl. However, when he returns for a weekend here and there, I cook a bit more. The evenings are still chilly so when he returned last weekend I was in a lentil comfort food kind of mood. What I especially love about this red lentil soup is it’s heartiness, the red lentils when dry are tiny and very flat and when cooked thicken the soup quite a bit. This dish is slightly spicy and with the addition of millet and chickpeas it makes for a filling and satisfying dish loaded with protein and calcium, it’s really a meal on it’s own and doesn’t need a side dish. After everything is prepped the soup comes together quickly and it’s made in one pot!! As I noted, the red lentils really thicken up the soup, if you want less thick add another cup of veggie broth. It thickens even more the next day so I added a little more veggie broth when I reheated it, and it was perfect.
So while my man was home he was so great to build additional shelves in the kitchen, though I have quite a bit of cabinet space things can get pushed to the back so now I’ve taken my dried goods out of the cabinet and onto shallow shelves where everything is easly visable and accessible. I’m lucky. My guy is one of those fix it types – he can build and fix just about anything!
A side of tortilla or crusty bread could be nice. Toasted pepitas! Spicy sour cream
About Millet: it’s a gluten free grain very small and doubles in size when cooked. It’s fluffy and a great compliment along with complete protein benefits when combined with beans or lentils. It’s also high in fiber and calcium. This grain can be used in desserts or as a breakfast cereal, even in place of polenta. The grain cooks in 15-20 minutes.
Thick & Hearty Red lentil Soup with Millet and Chickpea
1 medium onion chopped
1 tbsp oil
4 carrots sliced into rounds
2 cloves garlic minced
5 cups vegetable broth
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup red lentil
½ cup millet
12 oz fresh chickpeas or rinsed from a can
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp oregano
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Toast the paprika and cumin in frying pan just until fragrant, quickly remove and transfer to small bowl.
Using a mesh strainer rinse the red lentil under running water until there is no more foam.
Rinse the millet using a strainer and set aside.
Heat the oil in large pot; add the onion and garlic and sauté 5 minutes until soft.
Add the cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne, cinnamon and sauté another minute, Add the chopped carrot and sauté another minute.
Add the red lentil and stir, add the millet and stir again.
Add the crushed tomatoes and stir for 1 minute, then add the vegetable broth bring to a boil then simmer 20 minutes, add the chickpeas, lemon juice and simmer another 10 minutes. Check the millet for doneness they should be soft.
Top with chopped parsley or cilantro, scallions and vegan sour cream.