I always thought lentils were green and gross and they reminded me of sloppy porridge or something nasty along those lines. On the flip side, I always thought of lencse (the Hungarian word for lentil) as bright and orange and full of flavour and texture. Naturally, anything my grandma makes is flawless, but had she said what this was in English and not Hungarian, I never would have eaten it. It wasn’t until I saw her emptying a package labelled ‘lentils’ into this soup that I realized that lencse and lentil were the same thing. Classic early childhood language barrier mix-up! So I’m here to say that lentils are the bees knees and this is one of the best soups in the land. Moving the soup train right along, I present to you Lencseleves.
3 cups Red Lentils (dry)
3 Carrots (diced)
1 Parsnip (diced)
1 Celery Root (Diced)
3 Cloves Garlic
1 tbsp. Flour
Salt and Pepper
In a large stock pot, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add your root vegetables and begin to saute. Generously salt and cover with a lid. I would check on it and give it a mix about every 10 minutes, but you should let the veggies cook for about 30 minutes.
Next, add grated garlic and mix quickly. You just don’t want the garlic to burn to the bottom of the pot. Once it’s nice and fragrant (about 1 minute) add your flour and, again, mix to ensure it doesn't burn.
Now it’s time to make it a soup. Add about 2 cups of water to the pot and stir. Add a bay leaf and bring to a boil. Boil for about 15 minutes.
Rinse your lentils well and add to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add more water and let it all simmer together. It will take about 30 minutes for the lentils to absorb the water. Keep an eye on it and check the water levels. When the lentils are ready, they’ll be fully translucent.
Once they’re ready, add your turmeric and adjust the rest of your seasoning. That’s it! A very easy soup to warm your bones on chilly days.