I've been reading lately about the health benefits of bean sprouts. Aparently, if you sprout a bean, it gets even healthier than the humble bean originally started out as. Vitamins A, B, and C continue to improve until you actually eat the sprouts because they're alive. They also have high levels of iron and calcium. And, they retain the protien from the original bean! It's like heaven in a little plant.
These are sprouted lentils. It was easy to do; you can follow one of the many sites that have good directions. I was shocked at how easy these grew. It was just a handful out of the $1 bag I picked up a shop n save months ago. I was even more shocked when I tasted one: once they sprout, they get a kind of heat to them. Kind of like spice, but deeper. I can't hardly find words for it. You'll have to trust me on it being amazing, at least until you try it yourself. I got so excited I think we ate these a few days early; you can take them up to the firm bean sprouts like you see in Asian stir frys. This was 3 days after soaking the lentils.
Then I started cooking. My hubby, who was previously a little afraid of my jar of green sitting in the corner of the kitchen, bravely took a small first bite of this soup. Then he scarfed all of his down, turned to me and asked if there was any more (there wasn't), and asked me if I'd be finishing my bowl (I sure was!). I've put the recipe below for if you decide to be brave!
Sprouted Lentil Soup
- 1 cup rice
- 1/2 onion
- about 1 tbsp butter
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup or more sprouted lentils
- approx. 2 cups water or broth
- Salt, pepper, and oregano to taste
At least half an hour before you want to eat, start 1 cup white or brown rice in your rice cooker or a pot on the stove. I prefer brown rice because it was a little chewy and gave a nice texture contrast.
Saute 1/2 of one onion in a little bit of butter. Add 1 to 2 cloves garlic crushed or chopped into big pieces (the smaller the pieces, the bigger the flavor). Once the onions are lovely translucent, add 1 cup or even more sprouted lentils. Saute these around for just a minute or so, then add about 2 cups water or broth (I threw in a chicken bullion cube). Add a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and oregano (adjust for your preference). Let simmer for ~15 to 20 minutes. Pour into blender and blend until smooth (or use your immersion blender if you're lucky enough to have one... that's so at the top of my Christmas list). Ladle into a bowl with a generous scoop of your rice and garnish with a few whole sprouts to look pretty.
Do let me know if you try sprouts, or if you already cook with them! I'd love to hear more ideas to experiment with!