Spicy Lamb and Lentils

Meaty lamb, earthy lentils and a touch of heat combine for an easy meal that’s fragrant and full of flavor. It’s also ready in just a few minutes, largely with pantry and fridge staples (other than the garnish). I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit. But, as usual, I made a few changes. The idea of crispy lamb didn’t really appeal to me, so I just browned it in the pan. And, partly in the interest of speed, and partly due to a moment of distraction, I tossed the lentils in without removing the lamb first. Oops. But, it was fine. I also skipped the cilantro and topped it with garlic shoots instead (since I have them growing in my windowsill).

Lentils store well and are packed with protein too. They pair well with lamb, as they complement its rich, meaty flavor.

If you don’t have cooked lentils, they are easy to make. Unlike beans, they require no soaking. The formula is 3 parts water to one part lentils. Add the lentils and water to a pot. Bring it to a boil, then turn it down to a low simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. And the volume roughly doubles from dry to cooked. So, to get 1/3 cup cooked lentils, you’ll need about 3 T of dry lentils and 1/2 C of water. Or keep it simple and make more. The recipe is good with, or without the lamb, so you can have it again meatless. I’ve also added additional lentil recipes at the end of the post.




Spicy Lamb and Lentils Substitutions and Variations

  • Try red lentils instead; they take a 3:1 ratio and the split ones cook in about five minutes (plus they look pretty)
  • Not a fan of lamb? Make it meatless instead
  • If you like cilantro, garnish the lamb with it, if not try garlic scapes or scallions instead

More Lentil Recipes

easy lentils and rice recipeEasy Lentils and Rice Recipe

Now that you’ve got lentils, here’s an easy recipe for them. It’s budget-friendly and uses ingredients that are either shelf-stable or long-lasting.

 

red lentil carrot soupRed Lentil Carrot Soup

Warm and spicy with cumin, garam masala, and fresh ginger. Perfect for chilly not quite spring days. You can also make this with brown lentils (just cook it longer).

ham and lentil soupEasy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

Comforting, warm, and easy to make too. It only requires a single pot too. Make extra and freeze it in individual portions for more meals another day.

 




Easy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

This hearty ham and lentil soup is just the thing for a chilly winter day.  It’s adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook. I’ve naturally cut down the servings (from 8 to 4) and made a few other minor changes.  It’s pretty easy to prepare, and only requires a single pot. And you know how I hate cleanup! Funny, I enjoy the cooking part, but not the mess afterwards.

Since even four servings means a lot of soup for one, let the soup cool, and then divide it up into smaller containers and freeze it.  That way, a week or two from now, all you have to do is defrost an individual serving. Add a salad, a chunk of bread, or some cut up fruit and you have a quick meal. And once you’ve made the soup, there are no more pots to clean up.

The original recipe called for bacon, but having none, I used some kielbasa and a ham hock instead.  The kielbasa and ham hock get cooked along with the soup, which I think adds more flavor.

Also, the cookbook was written before the age of stick blenders.  So it instructed you to use a food processor or a food mill to puree the soup. Too much work! And too much mess. The immersion blender makes all that much easier, faster, and a lot less work to clean up.







Ham and Lentil Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • Use bacon instead of the kielbasa and ham hock; cook that first, then remove it and set aside, when the soup is finished, crumble the bacon on top
  • Use crumbled pork sausage, or some diced ham instead of the kielbasa and ham hock
  • Add a cup of diced tomatoes
  • Chop up a scallion and add that to the soup

Tools for Making Your Soup

Cusinart Stick Blender

I have an older version of this, and it is still going strong after years and years of use.  It’s great for milkshakes, pureeing soup, and making smoothies.  And it’s much easier to clean than my big blender. In fact, I hardly ever use the blender anymore.  Instead of cleaning a large appliance, all you have to do is pop off the shaft and wash that. Then wipe the top with a damp sponge. Unlike mine, this newer version is cordless, so it’s a lot easier to maneuver, particularly in a small space (like my kitchen). It also comes with a whisk attachment.


Chantal Soup Pot

I had no idea how much I needed a pot like this until I got one as a gift. The soup pot I got with my cookware set is far too large, and I hardly use it.  This one is great for small batches of soup, chili, even popcorn. The glass lid makes it easy to see when the corn starts to pop. And it’s a lot easier to handle than a full size soup pot (or a cast iron Dutch oven).

I’m now on my third copy of this cookbook! I’ve made soups, desserts, chicken, and all sorts of recipes from it and not one dud yet. The peasant vegetable soup, veal with dill, honey mustard ribs, and the apple cider sour cream apple pie are all outstanding! I made that soup for my mom, along with lamb chops (her favorite food).  She never got to the lamb; all she wanted was soup!

More Lentil Recipes

spicy lamb and lentils

Spicy Lamb and Lentils

A few pantry and fridge staples come together in minutes for a rich and satisfying meal with the aroma of cumin and garlic wafting through your home.

 

red lentil carrot soupRed Lentil Carrot Soup

Cumin, garam masala, and ginger add warmth and spice, while a touch of red pepper flakes give this soup a kick.

 

easy lentils and rice recipeEasy Lentils and Rice Recipe

It may win no prizes for looks, but this recipe is healthy, really tasty, and easy to prepare. And, it features a surprise ingredient you may not expect.

 

single serving lamb and lentil soupLamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Exactly one serving of  warm, hearty soup with tangy tomatoes, rich lamb, lentils, and fragrant garlic.

 





Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

I’ve mind melded two lentil soup recipes for this and added a few variations to make lentil bean sausage soup. I was going to make bean and sausage soup but looked in the cupboard and found I was woefully short on beans.  There just weren’t enough to make anything with.  But, I did have more lentils.  And, a friend was talking about the bean, sausage, and potato soup she was making.

That gave me an idea.  Bean, lentil, potato, and sausage, plus a bit of manchego rind for some savor (I’ve always wanted to try that, and I had a big bag of rinds in the fridge).

Manchego, parmesan, and romano cheese rinds are great, by the way, for soup or for grating cheese when there’s plenty left on the rind, but not enough to serve.

The nice thing about lentils is that unlike beans, you don’t have to soak them first to use them.

If you only have lentils, skip the beans entirely.  If you only have beans, use my quick soak method to speed up the process.




Ingredients and Tools for Lentil Bean Sausage Soup


2 pcs Stainless Steel Mesh Tea Ball Strainer

Tea strainers are great for tea, but they also have a second use for making soup and other recipes.  Many recipes call for cheesecloth (which I’ve never seen in a store, and seems wasteful anyway).  Instead, I use the tea ball for bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, and herb mixtures that have to be added (and then removed) from soup or other recipes. Because, who wants to bite down into a peppercorn?!

The New York Times Cook Book

This cookbook was the source for part of the recipe. I have had my copy so long it’s falling apart. The soup section includes lentil, split pea, and the savory tomato soup which is the basis for my dad’s secret soup recipe.


The Silver Palate Cookbook

I’m on my third copy of this! The other half of the soup recipe comes from the bean and sausage soup in this cookbook. The peasant vegetable is also wonderful, as is the six onion soup. Actually, I’ve never had a bad recipe from this one. Plus there are suggestions and variations for many of the recipes, which I like.

More Lentil and Bean Soup Recipes

red lentil carrot soupRed Lentil Soup with Carrots

Cumin, garlic, and ginger for mellow, warm spiciness, and a bit of red pepper flakes for a kick.  Warming, filling, and delicious. Quick too, since red lentils take less time to cook than the brown ones.

single serving lamb and lentil soupLamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Take the bones from your lamb breast, make a broth, and transform that into soup. Extra meals, with not much extra cost.

 

pasta e fagioli soupPasta e Faglioli (Bean) Soup

An Italian classic soup, downsized for one person. Flavored with pancetta, rosemary, beans, and pasta, it’s both aromatic and delicious.

 

ham and lentil soupEasy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

Only one pot! Easy too, just a bit of chopping, and then let it simmer.




Red Lentil Carrot Soup

It’s getting chilly outside, so that means it’s time to start making soup.  I spotted a bag of red lentils in Trader Joe’s, and just had to have them.  The nice thing about lentils is that they cook fairly quickly.  So, you can have delicious red lentil carrot soup in about an hour, without having to wait for beans to soak.

The lentils do need to be rinsed, but that only takes a minute.

Now that I had my lentils, it was time to find a recipe.  I looked at several red lentil carrot soup recipes, and didn’t like any of them.  Also, reading the reviews it sounded like the ones I did find needed some tweaking.  I ended up combining two different recipes, and adjusting them based on the comments.

While this isn’t one serving, I did cut the original recipes in half because I didn’t want 8 servings of soup (no room in the freezer).  This recipe makes 3-4 servings, depending on whether you have the soup as a main course or a side dish. Adding the rice will make it more filling.

The resulting red lentil carrot soup recipe has cumin for earthiness, a bit of red pepper flakes for heat, plus garam masala and ginger for warm spiciness.

Update: I came across still another recipe, which was for masoor dal (red lentils) as a side dish, and decided that with a bit of tweaking, it would make a wonderful, flavorful soup.  It was, and it was even better than my original recipe. So, I’ve now ditched the curry, and added ginger for warm spiciness and turmeric for color.




More Lentil and Lentil Soup Recipes

easy lentils and rice recipeLentils with Rice

Got lots of lentils? Not sure what to do with them? This recipe is pantry-friendly and has an unexpected special ingredient.

 

spicy lamb and lentilsSpicy Lamb and Lentils

Want something heartier? This Middle-Eastern inflected recipe has earthy lentils, meaty lamb, and a hint of heat. Flavorful, and easy too.

 

ham and lentil soupEasy Ham and Lentil Soup for One Person

A comforting soup that’s great for chilly weather. Just chop some veggies, add the ham, and simmer.

 




Easy Lentils and Rice Recipe

I had a partial bag of lentils leftover from making lamb and lentil soup some months ago, and decided they’d make a good fairly last minute dinner. Unlike beans, lentils don’t have to be soaked, so you can make them quickly.

Lentils and rice go together just as well as beans and rice, plus when you put them together you’ve got a complete protein. My mom always stressed this when I was a kid; it makes me laugh now. It’s a fairly quick, tasty dinner and it’s also pretty budget-friendly.

I looked at several other lentils and rice recipes and didn’t like any of them. Some were too bland and simplistic, while others involved way too much work and some hard-to-find ingredients.

I try to keep my recipes tasty, but not complicated (and with ingredients that are readily available).  So, I did a bit of fudging, combining, and tweaking to get the results I wanted.

 

This lentils and rice recipe is fairly easy to prepare, and features a surprise ingredient you may not expect. It is, admittedly, not going to win awards for looks, but it did taste good!




Lentils and Rice Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • If you have the time, start by caramelizing the onions first; you’ll get a deeper, richer flavor
  • Make it Lebanese with the caramelized onions, a fried egg, and cumin (full recipe)
  • Or, go to Ethiopia with some cardamom, tomatoes, cumin, and red lentils (instead of brown)

More Easy Lentil Recipes

red lentil carrot soup

Red Lentil Carrot Soup

Carrots add sweetness, while the garlic, ginger, and garam masala add warm earthy spice.  For heat, add red pepper flakes (or if you really like spicy food, go for red chili peppers).

Spicyspicy lamb and lentils Lamb and Lentils

Fragrant with cumin and garlic, and just a smidgen of heat from red pepper flakes. This meal is largely pantry and fridge staples, and takes only a few minutes to make.

 

single serving lamb and lentil soupLamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Exactly one portion of soup. Made with leftover lamb, this is hearty and filling. Great for changeable weather. I used lamb broth (since I had it). Beef broth will work too.

 

Easy Haham and lentil soupm and Lentil Soup for One Person

Ham and lentil is, of course, a classic combination. This is simmered slowly. It’s also got kielbasa for extra salty, smoky, peppery flavor.

 

 




Lamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Lamb and lentil soup is rich, hearty, and filling.  It’s a great dish for a cold winter’s day. This recipe is for one serving of soup (more on that later).

I had some lamb broth leftover from the lamb breast provencale recipe I posted a few days ago.  Since I wasn’t in a particular hurry, and it was chilly, I decided to use it up and make a single serving of lamb and lentil soup.   I’d just bought a bag of lentils, and lentils and lamb are a good combination.  Since it was an experiment, it was also a good way to test the recipe on a single serving of soup before I made a huge pot of it.

This recipe uses that lamb broth, plus lentils, diced tomatoes and thyme for lots of flavor.

It does take a while to cook, but once you get the ingredients together it’s mostly set it and forget it, so you can start it early and then go do something else while your soup simmers on the stove (and delicious smells start wafting through your home).

Serve with a chunk of crusty bread (to sop up every last drop of soup from the bottom of the the bowl).  Since this is “the single serving chef” you can be messy if you want.  Nobody will know.

I made this for one because I had one serving’s worth of broth. You can scale up the recipe, make a larger batch, and then freeze it in single serving containers (or save some for a fast lunch another day).

The other nice thing, is that while it does take a while to cook, the prep time is minimal.




Lamb and Lentil Soup Substitutions and Variations

  • If you don’t have the lamb broth, use beef broth (it won’t be lamb soup any longer, but it will still taste good)
  • Add 1/4 ground lamb to the soup (brown this as the first step in the recipe)
  • Replace the brandy with a robust red wine

More Lamb Recipes

greek lamb breastGreek Lamb Breast Recipe

Marinated in olive oil, garlic, and lemon, then slow-roasted for a deep, rich flavor.

 

moroccan lamb stewMoroccan Lamb Stew with Almonds and Raisins

Flavored with cinnamon, a touch of ginger, raisins, almonds, and lamb.  The lamb is cooked slowly, so it practically melts in your mouth. Perfect for a sweet new year.

 

lamb breast provencale with rosemaryOne Person Slow Roasted Lamb Breast Provencal Recipe

Slow roasted with lots of garlic and rosemary, then topped with golden crunchy bread crumbs.  Ideal for a winter’s day.

 

leftover roast lamb eggplant spinach saladLeftover Roast Lamb Eggplant and Spinach Salad

Creamy eggplant, luscious lamb, and earthy spinach all tossed together with a garlicky easy cheat aioli.