Sunday, August 04, 2013

Kamut, Lentil, and Chickpea Soup

I know, I know, I say that I'll come back... and I step away... and then, I come back again.

But really, for good, I'm here!  And based on the advice of my writing friend, Shane Halbach, I'm going to blog the modifications I make to recipes.


Because I cook a lot. Not as much as someone who might put dinner on the table seven days a week, but I think I do pretty well for having a two year old sous chef. =)

And I suppose I could make an entirely new blog, but I'm lazy.  Aren't we all?

Subsequent posts will have photos, I promise, but this current meal is now residing in a Rubbermaid container in the fridge.

Without further ado...

Kamut, Lentil, and Chickpea Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light

3/4 cup kamut
2 cups boiling water
Good glug of olive oil (I refuse to measure olive oil in most recipes because it's simply easier to eyeball it.)
2 small onions
5 small carrots
1 bunch of parsley
4 ribs of celery, with leaves
2 cloves of garlic
2/3 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. fines herbes
4 (14.5 oz) cans of beef broth
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup green lentils
1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place kamut in a small bowl, and cover with the boiling water.  Let it soak for 30-60 minutes, then drain.  The original recipe calls for only 30 minutes of soaking time, which resulted in the kamut being "chewy". Ideally, kamut should be soaked overnight, according to my whole grains cookbook, but you can probably get away with 60 minutes yielding a better texture.
  2. Chop the onions, carrots, celery (including the leaves), and parsley into rough chunks. Place in the bowl of a food processor along with the two cloves of garlic. Pulse, until the vegetables are chopped finely, but still have some substance to them. You're not trying to make them into mush.  You may have to rearrange the contents with a spatula, in order to get everything evenly chopped.
  3. Put a good glug of oil in a stockpot or Dutch oven, add the vegetables, and saute over medium heat along with the fines herbes and the thyme. You basically want enough oil to lubricate the pan, but not to overwhelm the vegetables.  Since the mixture has garlic in it, I always, always start with cold oil, to avoid burning the garlic.  Saute the vegetables for approximately 10 minutes, until they've softened and are releasing good smells.  Salt, to taste.
  4. Add the kamut, the broth, and the bay leaves to the pot; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. If you've skimped on the soaking step here, you can probably increase the cooking time upwards of an hour, so that the kamut softens appropriately.  Taste, as you go along, for texture.  Add the lentils and a few grinds of black pepper; cook for another 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.  Add the chickpeas, and simmer for another 2 minutes.  Taste the soup for salt, and adjust accordingly.  Whether you attempt to find the bay leaves before you serve is entirely optional; just remember, they're not edible! 

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