Thursday, 14 July 2011

Lentils with Artichoke and Mint

The addition of mint to red lentils gives this dish a Turkish element and makes a slightly different flavour - with delicious results. You can also add extra water and make it into a soup.

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
2 zucchinis
1 cup red lentils
6 cups vegetable stock
1 large carrot, diced
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 whole un-marinated artichoke hearts
1 cup very small macaroni (or other small soup pasta)
Half a bunch of mint, chopped finely

To Make:
1. Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot, add the onion, garlic and ¼ cup of chopped mint. Sauté until the onion is soft. Coarsely grate the zucchini and add to the pot. Cook gently for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the lentils, vegetable stock, carrot and soy sauce. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently, covered for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
3. Chop the artichoke hearts roughly into eighths and add to the pot with the soup pasta and the rest of the mint. Simmer with the lid off for 5-6 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Season to taste with pepper and serve with a sprig of mint as garnish.


  1. Lentils seem to take far too long to cook and are nearly always crunchy. So I avoid using them. Any tips to make the little fuckers soft?

  2. I find lentils are great to use because, unlike dried beans, they don't need to be soaked before you cook them. Red lentils should only take about 20 minutes to cook and should turn into pretty much mush provided you cook them in enough water. Green lentils and blue (or 'French') lentils take a little bit longer, but should only take 30-40 minutes, depending on your cooking method. If you find they usually are too crunchy then try adding them to a soup which has more than enough water to make them nice and soft - otherwise you can pre boil them in water before adding them to dishes such as salads or casseroles so that you can get them to the consistency that you like. For another lentil cooking recipe check out our June blog entry for Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato and Cauliflower.