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 Post subject: Big pot of lentils gone wrong
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:18 am 
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I made a double batch of the middle eastern lentil soup from the fat free vegan blog and it tastes like nothing, really. I can faintly detect some of the spices, but not enough for me to feel like I'm eating anything other than lentil mush.

What should I do with it? Treat it like a dal in need of extra spicing? If so, what do I do to kick it up and make it something I want to eat? I have fresh garlic, ginger and lots of dried spices.


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 Post subject: Re: Big pot of lentils gone wrong
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:26 am 
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I would dump lots of spices, chilies, and your fresh garlic in, and then maybe brighten it up with something acidic (lemon juice? wine?). I didn't like lentils for years until I realized that if I doctor them to make them salty, spicy, and zesty I find them to be delicious.

edit: just looked at the recipe and I would add way more lemon juice and a drizzle of good olive oil too (maybe saute the garlic in the oil in a separate pan, then add), if you are not adverse to making it a recipe with oil.

But really I find that soups like that are almost always in need of more salt and lemon juice.


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 Post subject: Re: Big pot of lentils gone wrong
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:28 am 
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I just don't think you get the full flavour of spices sauteing them in water. Do you mind using some oil? I'd saute another onion or some garlic in some oilve oil and just add all the same spices to the pan and let them get a little toasty, perhaps some harissa or fresh chili peppers too, and then add that back in the soup and let it simmer for a bit. I'd also put in some chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end.

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 Post subject: Re: Big pot of lentils gone wrong
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:20 pm 
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Karena wrote:
I just don't think you get the full flavour of spices sauteing them in water.
Because you just don't. A tbsp. or two of oil in a giant vat of soup isn't going to hurt anyone, and it ensures that your food will actually taste like something.
Karena wrote:
Do you mind using some oil? I'd saute another onion or some garlic in some oilve oil and just add all the same spices to the pan and let them get a little toasty, perhaps some harissa or fresh chili peppers too, and then add that back in the soup and let it simmer for a bit. I'd also put in some chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end.
This. I'd probably add some finely chopped celery and carrot to the onion and garlic as well. Saute all that up in some olive oil, add the same spices, and put it back into your flavorless lentils. Finishing with the fresh herb and/or a squeeze of lemon is a great idea, too!

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 Post subject: Re: Big pot of lentils gone wrong
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:35 am 
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Thanks guys! Here's the thing: I sautéed in a healthy tablespoon or so of oil. I just used the recipe as a guide, but I'm not strict about being fat free or anything like that. I used more garlic than called for and slightly more onion. I needed acid, so I added some lemon, the sumac called for and even a touch of balsamic in an effort to get it to taste like something.

I feel like I should have used broth versus water.

So you guys think I should take them as is and just add more salt and acidity? HopIng that perks them up. They're just so boring at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Big pot of lentils gone wrong
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:30 pm 
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When anything I cook comes out bland I usually add salt, pepper, lemon/lime juice, red wine vinegar, and/or hot sauce. Good luck with your lentils!!


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 Post subject: Re: Big pot of lentils gone wrong
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:21 am 
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pickledtreats wrote:
Thanks guys! Here's the thing: I sautéed in a healthy tablespoon or so of oil. I just used the recipe as a guide, but I'm not strict about being fat free or anything like that. I used more garlic than called for and slightly more onion. I needed acid, so I added some lemon, the sumac called for and even a touch of balsamic in an effort to get it to taste like something.

I feel like I should have used broth versus water.

So you guys think I should take them as is and just add more salt and acidity? HopIng that perks them up. They're just so boring at the moment.

I'd add a ton more lemon.

If all else fails, dump a bunch of your favourite hot sauce on them. Some recipes just refuse to work out!


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 Post subject: Re: Big pot of lentils gone wrong
PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:00 pm 
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Desdemona wrote:
Karena wrote:
I just don't think you get the full flavour of spices sauteing them in water.
Because you just don't. A tbsp. or two of oil in a giant vat of soup isn't going to hurt anyone, and it ensures that your food will actually taste like something.
Karena wrote:
Do you mind using some oil? I'd saute another onion or some garlic in some oilve oil and just add all the same spices to the pan and let them get a little toasty, perhaps some harissa or fresh chili peppers too, and then add that back in the soup and let it simmer for a bit. I'd also put in some chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end.
This. I'd probably add some finely chopped celery and carrot to the onion and garlic as well. Saute all that up in some olive oil, add the same spices, and put it back into your flavorless lentils. Finishing with the fresh herb and/or a squeeze of lemon is a great idea, too!


I like Desdemona's suggestion. The lentil soup in AFR is one of my favorites and I think it's because of all the veggies which add more flavor.

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 Post subject: Re: Big pot of lentils gone wrong
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:01 pm 
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When things don't taste like anything, I add miso paste. Bam!


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