I posted my curried pumpkin soup a few days ago that I made this past weekend. It was slated to be polished off for today’s lunch, but I didn’t have enough to feed the three of us. I had about 2 servings left in the mason jar and two hungry children plus myself.
This morning I did my Flylady zone work (we’re in the kitchen this week) and found a small amount of green lentil flour I had left over after grinding some for another dish I’ve been working on. A light bulb went off. Lentils work wonderfully to thicken liquids. With a strongly flavored soup like the curried pumpkin, I was pretty sure it would hide any lentil flavor. Whole red lentils have no shell and they dissolve when cooked. Green lentils will hold their shape when cooked. But when ground into flour, it doesn’t matter what type of lentil you’re using, it works beautifully as a thickener. Using cooked red lentils would have worked for me if I had the time to cook them, but it was already lunch time and the kids were asking for something to eat so I went with the flour.
I put a small amount of the soup in the bottom of a saucepan. I whisked in the leftover tablespoon of lentil flour until smooth. Then I whisked in the remaining soup, enough extra stock to make it three servings, and a little coconut milk I had leftover from breakfast. I brought it to a boil, reduced to a simmer and cooked it long enough to make sure the lentil flour was cooked through. It thickened nicely. I did have to adjust the spices since I added stock. The kids didn’t notice any difference and they ate it without a word. SCORE!
Like rice, lentils are low in phytates. I don’t worry about the occasional use of a small amount of unsoaked lentil flour as long as it is well cooked to void any digestive upset uncooked legume products might cause. If you aren’t working on the fly and you can prepare ahead to soak your lentils, I would have whisked the lentil flour with a tiny amount of acidic water (1 cup water to 1 Tbs lemon juice or whey) and allowed it to sit a few hours before cooking lunch.
KerryAnn Foster runs Cooking Traditional Foods, the longest running Traditional Foods Menu Mailer on the internet. KerryAnn has over nine years of traditional foods experience and is a former Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader. Founded in 2005, CTF helps you feed your family nourishing foods they will love. Each mailer contains one soup, five dinners, one breakfast, on dessert and extras. You can learn more about our Menu Mailers at the CTF website. For a free sample Menu Mailer, join our mailing list. You can also join our forum to chat with other traditional foodists and learn more.