I am going with red kidney beans for this dish as I prefer the colour and they are probably easier to find. In the photos I have used pinto beans which are typically Spanish, but on reflection I normally use red kidney beans and prefer them.
Re- fried beans will liven up any simple protein eg. grilled chicken, fish or tofu, and there will be no need to make a sauce. Amongst other things they are a good source of protein so you could just have them with brown rice, salad, green vegetables or even just a bag of tortilla chips. This is not a mash, it is fluid with plenty of the kidney beans visible.
If you are using from a packet you need 250g and to soak them overnight and cook them accordingly until soft. Otherwise use a tin. If you are soaking and cooking them, keep the liquor they have been cooked in and use that to make the dish. If you are using them from a tin then wash the beans well before using them. There is never very much of this left after it is served up. If there is then put it in the fridge and reheat by putting a splash of water in a pan and adding the beans, keep stirring the beans until they are hot and you have a thick but wet consistency.
250g red kidney beans
1 medium white onion
6 cloves of garlic
Chipotle tabasco or regular tabasco (an optional ingredient – the dish will survive without it)
1 1/2 tbsps (15g) ground cumin
1.5 – 2 litres of stock (cube or powder is fine from health food section)
Fresh coriander (if you can get it, nice touch)
Light olive oil
Finely chop the onion and crush the garlic. Put a large frying pan onto the heat, add the olive oil and sweat off the onions and garlic. Add the cumin and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add the beans and the liquid (if kept), stir and add the stock. You will need to keep adding more water in the cooking process, so boil your kettle again in preparation, make up a hot stock and keep topping up as the beans thicken. It is said, and I always do it, not to add cold water to pulses when you are cooking them or the pulse will not soften.
Keep adding liquid and breaking/mashing the beans as you go. I use a silicon spatula and just press down onto the beans as they are cooking, don’t break them up too much, you want some texture.
If you have chipotle tabasco or even ordinary tabasco add to taste. Finish off with chopped coriander.
Red lentil soup is a soup rooted in Middle-Eastern cuisine particularly Lebanon and Israel. It is a solid source of protein and dietary fibre, as well as being tasty and economical. This ‘half an hour soup’ could easily be made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. I have kept it close to its roots taking it to another level with a feta, yogurt and herb mix. This works well if you are trying to eat a small lunch as it will keep you going until the evening.
Ingredients (serves 4)
500g red lentils
60 ml sunflower oil (4 tablespoons)
4 litres of vegetable stock (good stock powder is fine)
1 small tin of chopped tomatoes
2 medium sized onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of coriander powder
1 teaspoon of ginger powder
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 fresh red chili or a pinch of cayenne pepperFor the garnish
1 small pot of natural yogurt (120g)
100g Greek feta cheese
1 spring onion or shallot, finely chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
10 grams of fresh coriander
10 grams of fresh mint
Heat the oil, then add the chopped onions and pressed garlic. When the onions and garlic are soft add the spices, chili and black pepper, stir into a thick paste. Add the red lentils, then the stock and tomatoes. Stir together, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for a further 25 minutes. Turn off the heat.
With a stick blender or a food processor pulse the soup 8 or 9 times. Don’t blend until it’s a smooth soup, pulsing just brings it together. If you don’t have either accessories don’t worry it will still be good.
Season with a few drops of fresh lemon and sea salt
Put the yoghurt in a bowl, crumble in the feta, add the lemon zest, chopped mint and spring onion. Mix really well with a few drops of lemon.
Pour the soup into the bowl, add a generous spoon of the feta mix in the middle then the fresh coriander broken onto the yogurt-feta mix. I like to drizzle a few drops of olive oil on the top (optional).
Posted in Red Lentil Soup with Feta & Coriander, Savoury Dishes, Soups
Tagged cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, feta, fibre, garlic, onions, red lentils, soup, stock, yogurt