“Black is the new orange in lentils, friend.”
That was the email greeting I received the day after my last blog post. (You know, this one, the one declaring January as the month of the lentil.)
Shortly after that, I received a container of these:
Shocking. I mean, who knew? Who knew there were so many colors of lentils? I thought I was on top of the lentil world by knowing red lentils existed. Obviously I needed to become a bit more lentil “savvy”.
So, I set out to increase my “lentilelligence”.
This is the most common type of lentil. They have a mild, earthy flavor and can be used in a variety of recipes. Brown lentils soften when cooked but still hold their shape; however, they can become mushy if cooked too long.
French green or Puy lentils are also quite common. They have a peppery taste. Green lentils take a bit longer to cook, but retain their firmness.
Yellow lentils are sweet and nutty. They break down quickly, and can be used as a thickening agent.
Like yellow lentils, red lentils also have a mild, sweet, nutty flavor., and, like yellow lentils, they do not hold their shape very well. They become quite mushy when cooked.
And then there are black lentils. Black lentils have a very firm texture. They get their color from anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are antioxidants known for their memory boosting and cancer-fighting properties.
I definitely needed to give these bad boys a try! Because A.) I am getting old and forgetful, B.) I have a family history of cancer, and C.) I had a container of them sitting on my counter!
Now, I need to make it known that this wonderful friend, who so thoughtfully shared her black lentils with me, also provided me with some recipes. Unfortunately I wanted to make these ASAP, and I didn’t want to go to the store. So…I found a recipe for which I had most of the ingredients, and I then tweaked it a bit to make it work.
And to be honest, I have no idea how it tasted. My husband and I went to the “Y”, leaving the 4 kids (3 of ours plus 1 GF) at home with the soup. While at the “Y” I received a text saying that the soup was gone. They assured me they didn’t dump it down the garbage disposal. Apparently it met their taste standards. I can’t wait to judge it for myself.
- 1/3 cup adzuki beans (soaked in water overnight, and drained)
- 12 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 1 cup mushroom broth
- 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/3 cup lentils (I used black)
- 1 T. tamari
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- sea salt
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add adzuki beans. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add onions, celery, and carrots to a large pot and saute (I sautéed in small amount of broth) until vegetables are soft.
- Add mushrooms. Stir, cover, and cook mushrooms down (about 10 minutes).
- Add the tomato paste, vegetable broth, mushroom broth and lentils. Stir.
- Drain adzuki beans and add them to large pot.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Season with tamari, lemon and sea salt.