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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Turkish Red Lentils and Rice

This is a warming meal on a cool evening.  I love the flavors that the fresh mint and yogurt add to this soup.  You can also make a mint tea with the extra leaves.  Add a leaf or two to your cup of hot green or black tea.
Cucumber Raita or Tzatziki is a good accompaniment to this.  (See recipes in side dish.)

2 T olive oil                                                                       1 ½ C red lentils, rinsed#
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped                    1 15 oz can diced tomatoes w/liquid
1 carrot, peeled and sliced                                       1 ½ T tomato paste
1 celery rib, sliced                                                           
2 garlic cloves, minced                                               1 ½ C long grain rice, cooked
1 ½ T sweet paprika                                                      2 T fresh mint, chopped
¼ t cayenne pepper                                                     1 C plain yogurt
4 C low-sodium chicken broth                              1 lemon, cut into wedges

1.        Heat oil in a Dutch oven.  Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften and brown, about 6 minutes.  Add the garlic, paprika, and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
2.       Stir in broth and add lentils, tomatoes, and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered, until lentils are very tender and almost completely dissolved, about 30 minutes.  Adjust the liquid if necessary, adding more if needed to acheve consistency of a very thick soup.
3.       Meanwhile, cook rice.
4.       Season lentils with salt to taste.  To serve, spoon the lentils over the rice and sprinkle with mint.  Serve with yogurt and lemon wedges in bowls for garnishing.
Per serving:  About 450 calories, 54 cal from fat, 6 g total fat, 1 g sat fat, 1 mg chol, 456 mg sodium, 80 g total carbs, 2 g fiber, 20 g protein

# available at Whole Foods in bulk
From American Medical Association Family Health Cookbook, p. 302, 1997

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