Lentils and peas

Curried Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk

Curried Lentil Soup from Leslie Cerier

For centuries, spices have been used to create delicious and nourishing meals. Aromatic herbs and spices, also known as carminatives, improve digestion and make zesty, globally inspired dishes. The key to making beans easier to digest is to cook them from scratch, adding sea vegetables like dulse along with carminative herbs and spices. Adapting this main course soup to the seasons is easy: You can use fresh tomatoes, summer squash, spinach, and eggplant in the summer; canned tomatoes, carrots, yams, or butternut squash in the fall and winter. Recipe excerpted with permission from Going Wild in the Kitchen,* by Leslie Cerier, © 2005, Square One Publishers, Inc. Photos by Tracey Eller.

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Cold Avocado and Green Pea Soup

Cold Avocado and pea soup

Cold soups are one of my favorite ways to feel refreshed in the summer heat. What makes any cold soup even better for me is if it needs no cooking at all, like this one featuring ripe avocados and fresh peas. And it adds gorgeous burst of green to the table, as well. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin.

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French Lentil Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

French Lentil Salad by Sharon Palmer from Plant-Powered for Life

Beans aren’t the only member of the legume family worth celebrating. Lentils, packed with fiber and protein, are just as nutritious. Plus they cook up—no soaking required—in only 15 to 20 minutes. A French ami shared her mother’s traditional recipe for lentil salad with me years ago. This simple salad, seasoned with a French vinaigrette, is classic dish in France. It makes a wonderful, protein-rich highlight of any meal. Because the flavors continue to meld, it’s also great the next day. Recipe from Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes, © 2014 Sharon Palmer. Reprinted with permission from The Experiment.

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Mango Lentil Salad With Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Mango Lentil Salad by Sophia Z from Love and Lentils

This lentil salad is unique, blending Indian flavors from the cumin and coriander with the Mexican flavors of mango and lime. One of the best things about salad is you can combine ingredients that you wouldn’t normally pair up, and it usually works wonderfully. French lentils, also known as du Puy lentils, are the best type of lentil to use in salads. Green, brown, and red lentils are perfect in soups and stews because they’re soft and tend to fall apart, while du Puy lentils work better in salads because they hold their shape well when cooked properly. All in all, a refreshing summery salad, with  great sustenance from the lentils. Recipe and photos contributed by Sophia Zergiotis of Love and Lentils.

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Red Lentil Soup with Spinach or Arugula

Red lentil and spinach soup

Here’s a simple soup of quick-cooking red lentils, embellished with tender greens. It’s a warming homemade soup you can have on the table in less than 45 minutes. Once you’ve done the onion-garlic sauté, there’s very little additional work to do! Serve with fresh pita, croutons, or crispy pita chips that you can crumble right into the soup. The recipe yields a flavorful but mild soup; see notes on seasonings following the recipe if you’d like to kick it up a few notches.

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Curried Lentil, Potato, and Cauliflower Soup

Curried Lentil, Potato, and Cauliflower Soup

This hearty lentil soup features a slew of compatible ingredients, including potatoes, cauliflower, and spinach or arugula. It all melds together in a garlicky, mildly curried broth. Add a fresh flatbread and a simple salad for a satisfying meal. more→

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Hearty Lentil and Potato Soup with Leafy Greens

Curried lentil and potato soup

This satisfying soup features lentils, potatoes (and optional sweet potatoes) and greens, a trio of compatible ingredients in a mildly curried broth. This is a wonderful soup to come home to on a cold late fall or winter day, so make it on a quiet Sunday and enjoy it when you come home from work the next day. It’s also a good choice to pack in a Thermos, to take to work or school. more→

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Hearty Lentil Soup

Hearty Lentil soup

The earthy flavor of these protein-packed legumes shines in this basic rendition of lentil soup. Make sure to see the variations listed below the recipe. This is perfect as a soup centerpiece, served with crusty bread or fresh cornbread, and any kind of salad you enjoy.

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