This recipe, adapted from Diana Kennedy’s The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, contains the characteristically Mexican ingredients nopales, fresh green chiles and cilantro.
- ½ cup brown lentils, rinsed
- 6 cups water
- ½ pound nopal cactus paddles, cleaned and diced
- salt to taste
- 1 large green onion, quartered
- ½ pound tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 fresh jalapeño chile, or 2 fresh serranos, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
Place the lentils and water in a large soup pot, bring to a boil, lower heat and cook until the lentils are mushy.
Separately, boil the nopales with salt and the scallion until the nopales are tender. Drain, discard the scallion, and rinse the nopales.
Blend the tomatoes and garlic to make a puree and set aside.
Heat the oil in a small skillet, add the onion and chile, and cook until just soft. Add the tomato puree to the onion mixture and cook until almost dry. Add this mixture to the lentils, along with the chicken stock and nopales, and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.
Serve in soup bowls with hot tortillas or warm bolillos. Serves 6 as a first course.
Heart healthy lentils: Mexican fall favorites