Dana Joy Altman ( http://www.realfoodrehab.com ): This is a great one-pot comfort meal. It's a flavorful and seemingly exotic lentil and rice soup that can be garnished to please any diner's palette. Also, it's a vegetarian (vegan, even) dish that is both filling and tasty. So, your omnivore friends won't miss the meat. It's okay if you don't want to share. The leftovers are just as delicious! Enjoy.
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2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) red-pepper flakes
6 cups (1.4 L) good-tasting vegetable stock (or water)
1⅓ cup (270 g) red lentils, picked over and rinsed
½ cup (100 g) long grain or jasmine brown rice, picked over and rinsed
fine grain sea salt to taste
Very Necessary Garnishes:
chopped toasted almonds, chopped kalamata olives, crumbled sheep or goat feta, drizzled store-bought harissa, squeeze of lemon
In a big soup pot, over medium heat, combine the olive oil, onion, and red pepper flakes. Let them brown, and caramelize a bit, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the broth, bring to a boil, then stir in the lentils and rice. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is very tender. The lentils will turn to a soft mush. You may need to add more water or broth, a little at a time, to get the consistency you like.
The soup will need to be seasoned well with salt at the end to prevent it from tasting flat. Serve each bowl topped with almonds, olives, feta, a slight drizzle of harissa if you like it hot and a bright squeeze of lemon. The lemon is key!
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