Tag Archives: Lentils

Beans & Greens Soup with White Beans, Red Lentils and Chard

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We’re well into soup season and I can’t believe it took me this long to share with you what I imagine to be the first of many versions of my favorite combo, that I share with you here; beans & greens!














If it was up to Skyler, soup season would be everyday, all year, no matter the outside temperature, she just loves it and asks me to make it all the time.  This soup is so versatile and can really be adapted to whatever beans you like and whatever greens you have on hand. 

Beans and Greens Soup with red lentils, white beans, wheat berries and rainbow chard, yum!

Beans and Greens Soup with red lentils, white beans, wheat berries and rainbow chard, yum!

Very much like the Italian classic pasta fagoule, but instead of pasta I like to use wheat berries. The wheat berries cook up nice and al dente and hold up well as leftovers unlike pasta which continues to absorb the broth and can get a bit mushy.  I also really like the way the red lentils melt into the broth while the white beans just soften a bit but still hold their integrity.  Greens & Beans Soup

The soup is then finished with a big pile of chopped greens, in this case chopped Swiss or rainbow chard, stems and all.  Lastly a drizzle of good olive oil, a sprinkling of grated cheese if you like, and a nice hunk of bread…soups on! 


Beans & Greens Soup with White Beans, Red Lentils and Chard
 Author: SweetGreenKitchen’s Jen Jones



2 large leeks or 4 if they’re skinny – chopped

4-6 cloves garlic – rough chopped

2 stalks celery – diced

2 large carrots – diced



Sea salt

½ cup wheat berries – rinsed

½ cup red lentils – rinsed

1 15 ounce can cannellini beans – drained and well rinsed

1 small bunch Swiss or rainbow chard – washed and chopped – leaves & stems

Olive oil

6-8 cups water

Optional: 1 boullion cube – I use Rapunzel vegan boullion

Optional: grated Romano or Parmesan cheese



Heat a large pot.  Add a drizzle of olive oil to just cover the bottom of the pan.  Add in the chopped leeks and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until softened.  Next add in the garlic, celery and carrots.  Cook a few more minutes and then toss in some thyme, rosemary and sea salt, plus the boullion cube if using, stir around to mix the herbs with the veges and break up the boullion cube.  Add in the wheat berries and stir into the veggies and seasonings.  Next add in the lentils and white beans then 6-8 cups of water.  Partially cover and bring to a low boil, then fully cover, lower the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 30 minutes to an hour or a few hours if you have the time.  After the soup has cooked for awhile and the wheat berries are mostly cooked and the lentils have melted into the broth, add in the chopped Swiss chard and cook for another 10-20 minutes.

 To Serve:

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese if you like, plus an extra drizzle of olive oil.  Serve with chunks of crusty fresh bread.  Enjoy!


Recipe notes: This recipe makes a nice big pot of soup, easily serving 4-6 for a main dish.  If your crowd is a bit smaller, don’t despair, make the full pot and stock your fridge with leftovers for the week.  Leftovers make a great workday lunch or quick dinner on a busy night, just reheat and serve.  This soup also freezes perfectly, just wait for it to cool down and then pour into individual freezer safe containers.  If you have time, defrost for the day and then warm up in a small pot on the stove.  If you forget to defrost, no worries, just run some luke warm water over the sealed container until it begins to soften a bit, add the partially thawed chunk of soup to a small pot and slowly rewarm over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the soup as you go.  

Wheat berries take awhile to cook, a good hour to one and a half hours.  If you plan ahead, you can soak your wheat berries in a bowl of water overnight to speed up the cooking process.  Otherwise, save this soup for a weekend or one of our many snow days! 

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Lentil “Meatballs”


Lentil Meatballs

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from: Sara Forte’s “The Sprouted Kitchen”

Meat free, gluten free, but full on flavor! These tasty lentil meatballs are the perfect prescription for any vegetarian missing that classic childhood favorite “spaghetti and meatballs”. But these little bites are so yummy even meat eaters won’t miss the meat. These are in regular rotation at chez Jones.


1 can black lentils – about 2 cups (*see recipe note below)

2 eggs

¾ cup ricotta cheese (I use part skim)

¼ cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese (Locatelli is the best)

2 cloves garlic – crushed

1 shallot – finely chopped

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

1 ½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

Lemon zest – from about ½ – 1 whole lemon

1 Tablespoon olive oil (I use extra virgin always)

1 cup cooked quinoa (use leftover or cook ¼ cup dry with ½ cup water in advance)IMG_4271IMG_4278


Drain and rinse the lentils and place in a medium size bowl. Mash the lentils with the back of a fork or potato masher, but don’t completely pulverize, you want to still have some intact lentils.IMG_4275

Add to the lentils all remaining ingredients except the quinoa. Mix well to combine and then add in the quinoa and mix through.IMG_4280IMG_4282

To help keep the mix from falling apart, place in the refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes. You could also mix this up in the morning and then have it all ready to go at dinner time or even mix it all up the night before.

While chilling…Preheat oven to 400 F. And if you plan to serve with spaghetti, start boiling your water and/or prepping the rest of your meal.

After your mix has chilled, line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or brush the pan with olive oil if you don’t have any parchment on hand.

IMG_4283Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and start forming balls, about 1 inch in diameter. I use my smallest spring loaded ice cream scoop to form the balls, place them on the pan and then press any loose ends together with my fingers once they’re all on the pan. This recipe makes about 28-32 balls. These don’t need a lot of space on the pan, so I pack them in pretty tight but don’t let them touch.IMG_4285

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 F, until the bottoms begin to brown and then carefully turn and bake another 10 minutes.

Serve atop spaghetti with your favorite tomato sauce, I like them with a spicy tomato sauce, but marinara is tasty too. Or if you’d like to skip the pasta, they’re also great atop sautéed greens, like swiss chard. You could even squish them between some Italian bread with tomato sauce for a yummy vegetarian meatball sub. A little extra grated Romano cheese over the top completes it. Enjoy!IMG_4292IMG_4300

Recipe notes: don’t be dismayed if you feel like this makes too many, cooled leftovers freeze great for a quick meal in the future, just defrost and reheat. You could also serve these as party hors d’oeuvres with a little pesto dipping sauce.

*Also a note about lentils, I use black lentils also known as French lentils here, they are a bit firmer and hold up better than brown or green lentils when mashed and I like that slightly al dente bite they lend to these meatballs. If you can’t find them canned, you could easily cook up a batch of dried, lentils are the one bean that cooks up quickly without any need for overnight soaking.

For printable version click here


Curry Spiced Lentil Salad


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                       Curry Spiced Lentil Salad
Altered ever so slightly from the original My New Roots, Best Lentil Salad, Ever….Even though I enjoy Indian foods and the many spices associated with that region of the world, this is not my comfort zone of cooking.  I tend toward Mediterranean style cooking with a smattering of Asian influence and sometimes a bit of “California Mex”, but for me cooking Indian food is rare.  My husband, once (many, many years ago) bought me a Vegetarian Indian cookbook (which was one of the most thoughtful and one of the rarest gifts he’s purchased completely on his own), which I have yet to make a single recipe from.  It is not that I don’t love this gift and find many of the recipes in it interesting, but I’m scared off a bit by the looooong list of ingredients each recipe entails and not to mention the sheer weight of the book itself (which causes it to most often be used as a weight for pressing tofu, perhaps that’s why I don’t get many gifts from dear hubby, hmm).  I do get turned off by very long recipes, even though I myself when improvising a recipe tend to add more and more ingredients as I go, but I also feel unfamiliar with the combination of spices and other ingredients that go into Indian cooking and can never really imagine in my mind and taste buds what exactly the final dish is going to end up as.   So, on New Year’s Eve, searching for recipes that included foods that are said to bring good luck in the new year, I stumbled upon this recipe and decided without much thought to give it a go.  I didn’t change it much, except for the quantity of some of the ingredients and left out or changed a few that my daughter doesn’t like.  Skipped the currants and replaced them with cranberries and pomegranate seeds, the two add a nice balance of sweetness against the curry spice.  Don’t let the long list scare you off, it’s mostly items from the spice drawer and the recipe comes together fairly quickly.  What I ended up with was a lovely lightly spiced and a little bit sweet lentil salad for the new year.


1 ¼ cups dry French Black Lentils (about ½ pound) – don’t substitute other varieties as they will turn to mush when cooked, while the tiny French variety will hold up

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

½ Tbsp Honey

½ Tbsp Dijon Mustard

½ teaspoon Cumin

¼ teaspoon Turmeric

¼ teaspoon ground Coriander

¼ teaspoon Cardamom

1/8 teaspoon ground Cayenne

1/8 teaspoon ground Cloves

1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon

Salt and Pepper to taste, plus a little salt for cooking the lentils

2 Shallots – diced

¼ – ½ cup dried Cranberries – chopped

¼ – ½ cup Pomegranate seeds

About 1 Tbsp chopped fresh Mint

To make the salad, begin by preparing the lentils.  Rinse, pick over and add to a pot with enough water to cover by a few inches.  Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.  The cooked lentils will retain a nice al dente bite.  Once cooked, drain off and set aside to cool just a bit before adding to the dressing.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Add all ingredients above after lentils and up to the cranberries.  Whisk together and set aside until the lentils are done.  Add the lentils to the dressing and stir.  Add in the chopped cranberries and pomegranate seeds, then the chopped mint.

Optional add ins; other fresh herbs, maybe a bit of parsley or tarragon, some crumbled goat cheese… I enjoyed mine atop a Romaine salad.

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