Lentil Soup with Goat Cheese

So simple and so good! This is a thick soup, you will need to thin any leftovers with a little water. 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 c onion, chopped
1 c carrot, chopped
1 c celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb lentils, rinsed
8 c water
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
3 springs parsley
1 parmesan rind
6 oz goat cheese, cut into thin soices
Garlic Croutons (i just TJ’s)

In a multicooker, heat oil over medium heat, add onions, celery and carrots and cook until tender about 5 min. Add garlic, lentils, water and herbs and cheese rind, stir and cover.

Cook on low for 6 hours. Purée and serve with Goat Cheese and croutons.

Serves 6.

Lentils with Sour Cherries, Bacon and Gorgonzola

Yes, I’m on a Ottolenghi kick! His food is so flavorful and surprising – I really need to get London so I can try his restaurant, in the meantime I’m pretty content preparing his delicious recipes in my home. This one has it all, smoky, salty and a little sweet/sour! I served it along with grilled lamb. 

2/3 c lentils
2 bay leaves
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp water
1 tsp sugar
1/2 c dried sour cherries
5 tbsp red wine vinegar
8 slices crisp bacon, chopped
4 c baby spinach
4 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled
Salt and black pepper

Rinse the lentils under cold running water and then drain. Transfer to a saucepan and add enough water to cover them by 3 times their height. Add the bay leaves, bring to the boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are al dente.

Place the shallots in a pan with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and sauté over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until golden. Add the water, sugar, cherries, and vinegar and continue simmering over a low heat for 8 – 10 minutes, until you get a thick sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Drain the lentils and add them to the sauce so they can soak up all the flavors. Stir together and keep on low heat.

Add the bacon to the lentils, then add the spinach and stir well. Stir in the gorgonzola.

Serves 4.

Chicken Tikki with Lentils

This is my take on Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Tikki Salad. It’s healthy and delicious and takes about 45 minutes.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pounded thin
1/4 c or so tikka paste

4 spring onions, sliced thin
1 fresh red chili, sliced thin
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp ground cumin
olive oil
1 c lentils, cooked
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 big bunch of cilantro, leaves and stalks
2 lemons
1/4 c greek yogurt
2 TBSP cashew nuts
1 TBSP mango chutney
2 tsp turmeric
1 bag baby spinach
2 carrot, shredded
1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced

Salt and pepper chicken, then rub with tikki paste. Set aside in fridge till ready to cook. When ready to cook Place on the hot griddle pan, turning after 3 or 4 minutes, until nicely charred and cooked through.

Im a food processor or blender combine coriander stalks, juice of 1 lemon, yogurt, cashews, mango chutney and turmeric, then purée until smooth.

Put the mustard and cumin seeds and 1 TBSP of oil into the frying pan, followed by the sliced spring onion and chili. Add the lentils, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots and add a punch salt and pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar. Add the cilantro leaves and spinach when you start the chicken. Cool until spinach is wilted.

To serve scoop lentil mixture onto plate, drizzle with cilantro sauce and top with chicken.

Serves 5 – 6.

Lentil Salad

Meatless Monday, the perfect excuse to cook something out of Plenty by Ottolenghi! I made the tomatoes on the weekend, they take some time, the rest comes together quickly.

Oven-dried tomatoes
6 plum tomatoes, halved
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and pepper

1 red onion, very finely sliced
Red wine vinegar
2 TBSP olive oil
1 1/3 c lentils
1/4 c chopped parsley
1/4 c chopped dill
1/4 c chopped chives
4 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled

Preheat oven to 375.

Sprinkle the thyme sprigs over the top, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and season well with sea salt and pepper. Roast for about 1 1/2 hours or until semi-dried (or, for as long as you possibly have time to).

Discard the thyme and set the tomatoes aside to cool.

Place the onion in a bowl and pour over some vinegar and sea salt. Stir and leave the onion to soften.

Place the lentils in a pan of boiling water and cook for 30 – 40 minutes until tender. Drain and add the oil, onions, tomatoes, herbs and cheese. TAste and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

Lentils with Broiled Eggplant


Yes, I’m obsessed – Ottolenghi is a god in my world. This is an amazing meatless Monday dish. It might be pushing it for a weeknight meal, but you can roast the eggplant in advance. Leftovers – can’t wait!!

2 medium eggplants
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 c lentils
3 small carrots, peeled, chopped small
2 celery stalks, chopped small
1 bay leaf
3 springs thyme
1 onion, minced
3 TBSP olive oil
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c chopped herbs, dill, parley & cilantro
2 TBSP Greek yogurt

Prick eggplant all over, broil for an hour turning several times until charred and collapsed. Let cool then scrape out flesh and drain for 30 min. Chop, stir in 1/2 TBSP vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Lower temp to 275 and roast tomatoes for 25 min. Set aside.

Cook lentils according to package stir in carrots, celery, bay leaf, thyme and onion. Cook until tender about 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme. Add rest of vinegar, 2 TBSP olive oil and salt and pepper. Stir in herbs and tomatoes.

To serve, spoon lentil into bowl, pile on eggplant and top with a dollop of yogurt.

Serves 4

Roasted Tomatoes, Lentils and Egg with Dukka

Diana Henry is amazing! I think I have marked almost every recipe in her new book to try! This one is great for meatless Monday and you will have plenty of Dukka for other uses. I pulsed the whole spices in my spice grinder and added to the rest of tenge dukka ingredients.

For the dukka:
1/2 c hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 c sesame seed
1/4 c black sesame seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 TBSP sunflower seeds
3 TBSP coriander seeds, ground up a bit
1 TBSP peppercorns, ground up a bit
11/2 tbsp cumin seeds, ground up a bit
1 tsp ground paprika
1/2 TBSP sea salt flakes

For the tomatoes and eggs
8 large plum tomatoes, halved
3 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp harissa
1/2 TBSP sugar
salt and pepper
4 large eggs, poached

For the lentils
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 onion, very finely chopped
1 celery stick, very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 c Puy lentils
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 TBSP sherry vinegar
3 1/2 TBSP olive oil
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Combine the nuts, seeds and toasted spices with the paprika and salt. Store in a jar or other airtight container until you need it.

For the tomatoes, preheat the oven 375F. Lay the tomatoes in a single layer in a roasting tin. Mix the olive oil and harissa together and pour over. Turn to coat, ending cut side up, then sprinkle with sugar and season. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until caramelized in parts and slightly shrunken.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils. Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently sautee the onion, celery and garlic until soft but not coloured. Add the lentils and turn them over in the oil. Chuck in the thyme and bay leaf. Cover with 2 c of water, season lightly, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are just tender. Remove the thyme and bay leaf. Add the lemon juice. Mix the vinegar and oil together and stir it into the lentils with the coriander. Taste for seasoning.

Spoon 1/4 of the lentils into a bowl, top with 4 tomato slices, and egg and them lightly sprinkle with dukka.

Serves 4.

Chicken and Lentils with Apsaragus


This recipe was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals. It really takes closer to 30 minutes. I used chicken thighs instead of breasts and left out the yogurt (because I forgot it), and served it with some home baked crusty bread. You may need to adjust the cooking time on the chicken depending on how thick it is.

1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
olive oil
8 oz cooked lentils (I used TJ’s)
14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
8 oz baby spinach, chopped
1 tsp red wine vinegar

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp smoked paprika
Cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 springs fresh thyme
1/2 lb asparagus
6 pieces pancetta

Heat 1 TBSP olive oil over medium heat, add carrots and onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in lentils, tomatoes and rosemary and cook over medium heat. When you add the asparagus to the chicken, stir in the spinach and red wine vinegar, continue to cook until the chicken is done.

Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika and a little cayenne pepper.
In a large skillet, heat 1 TBSP olive oil, add chicken and garlic and cook for 10 minutes. Flip chicken over, cook 5 more minutes, push chicken to one side of the pan, add pancetta and asparagus, cook for 5 minutes, turning pancetta and asparagus.

To serve. Top each piece of chicken with pancetta, serve over the lentils with asparagus.

Serves 6.