This year, I resolved to cook more meatless meals. One of the biggest hurdles to this has been my lifelong aversion to beans and lentils. But as a recovering picky eater, I’m trying very hard to grow up and get over it.
In my quest to like lentils, I’ve tried lentil casserole, lentil tacos, and a version of lentil “sloppy joes” that someone promised I would like (I didn’t). Then I remembered a lentil soup I’d had years ago at a friend’s house and asked for the recipe. At last! A lentil recipe I really, truly love.
I like to serve soup with homemade bread or rolls, especially when I can let my bread machine do all the hard stuff. So I’m also including my family’s current favorite, a recipe I got from my sister-in-law for Oatmeal Yogurt Bread.
Make a batch of this soup and a loaf of this bread and you’ve got two easy, hearty (but healthy) meals perfect for cold weather.
Turkish Wedding Soup
4 T. olive oil
2 onions finely chopped (I puree them in a mini food-chopper until they’re smooth)
1 t. paprika
1 cup red lentils
1/2 cup bulgur (at my store, this is stocked right next to the red lentils in the “ethnic cuisine” aisle)
2 T. tomato paste
8 cups vegetable stock
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Saute onions in olive oil. Add paprika, lentils, bulgur, and tomato paste. Add stock and cayenne pepper and cook about an hour. Squeeze a lemon wedge into each bowl before serving.
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ⅓ cup very hot water
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
- 1 T. butter
- 2 T. sugar
- 1 t. salt
- ½ t. baking soda
- ¼ cup oat bran (I use Bob’s Red Mills, which is found at my grocery store alongside the flaxseed)
- 1⅔ cup flour
- 1-1/2 t. yeast
- Put the oats in your bread machine’s bread pan.
- Add the hot water, stir, and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Put remaining ingredients in bread machine pan in the order they are listed (with a spoon, make a little well in the flour for the yeast).
- Set machine on the dough setting.
- When done, restart dough cycle and allow the machine to “punch” down your dough for about 30 seconds.
- Turn machine off and take out the dough.
- Shape it into rolls or a loaf and place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal.
- Brush the tops of the rolls or loaf with butter or beaten egg white. (To get fancy, crush up some oats and sprinkle on the tops of the bread.)
- Make slits in the tops of the rolls or loaf.
- Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise about an hour.
- Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (roughly 20 minutes for rolls, 30-45 minutes for a loaf).