The second recipe, "Spanish Lentils and Rice," is one of my all-time favorites. I make it every few weeks. It's easy, healthy, and satisfying. I recently shared the recipe with my in-laws, Bev and Barry, and it has become a favorite at their house, too. P.S. It's actually much tastier than it appears in the picture!
So, stay warm (especially if you're getting walloped by WINTER STORM ATTACK 2011) and enjoy!
Winter Lentil Soup
4 leeks, white and light green parts only
1 bunch kale
1 tsp. olive oil
1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, drained
6 cups water
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup brown lentils
1 tbsp. fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
12 fresh basil leaves (optional)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Slice each leek in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 1/4-inch thick half-moons (about 2 cups). Place in large bowl of cold water and swish to remove any grit. Drain and pat dry.
2. Remove the stems from the kale and slice leaves into 1/2 inch strips; you'll need about 3 cups.
3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for three minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil.
5. Stir in the kale, sweet potatoes, lentils, thyme, salt, pepper, and basil (if using). Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese on top.
Spanish Lentils and Rice
1 cup dried lentils
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
2 (14 oz.) cans chicken or vegetable broth
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (Rotel, of course!)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
1. Place lentils in a a 4-quart slow cooker. Cover with water 2 inches above lentils; let soak 8 hours. Drain and rinse; return lentils to slow cooker.
2. Add rice and next 8 ingredients (everything except cheese).
3. Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours or until lentils and rice are tender. Stir in cheese and serve immediately.