I’ve shared a lot of my grandma’s recipes on my blog. Being her only granddaughter, I spent so much time with my grandma, and she showed me how to make some of the most amazing dishes. There were two recipes I always loved that she made, but never learned how to make them. And the older I get, the more I miss these recipes. My mom was making grandma’s “peas & macaroni” dish the other day and I told her how I missed grandma’s spinach soup, and lentil soup. As we were talking, my mom was going through her “cookbook” (all handwritten in a spiral notebook) and she found these recipes!!
I was so happy I almost cried!!
Today, I made this recipe – grandma’s lentil soup – and this was my first time making it, and it turned out awesome. It tasted just like grandma’s! Here’s the recipe:
First, you’ll need a bag (1lb) of lentils. Grandma always used brown lentils, but our grocery store only had green lentils, which are actually even better for you – so that’s what I made.
Pour them into a bowl, sort through and make sure you pick out any bad ones, give them a good rinse, and then place in a bowl with lots of cold water to soak overnight. Make sure you use a large bowl with lots of water – these absorb the water and will easily double in size.
The next morning, pour them in a colander, and give them another good rinse.
Pour them into a large pot with plenty of water, add salt, and boil for an hour or until the lentils are tender (when they are soft when you squish them). If you are using brown or red lentils, they may take less time – the green ones take the longest. Once they are tender, remove from heat, and pour them into a colander to strain again.
In another large, 5-quart pot, fill about 2/3 full with water. If you have a hambone, add that to it (to flavor the water). You can also use some bacon, or pork salt. Or, you can use Goya’s Ham Flavored Concentrate. I picked up a box at our local Walmart Supercenter. It was in their Goya food section. If you go this route, add 3 packets of the ham flavored concentrate to the water. Stir, add a little salt, and let the water come to a boil.
While your pot of flavored water is coming to a boil, cut up an onion (I like to finely chop mine with my Kuuk onion chopper). Get your frying pan, and add a few tablespoons of oil – grandma always used olive oil, but I prefer coconut oil. Let the oil heat up, and then add your cut up onions. Let the onions cook in the oil for a minute or two. Then, add your lentils that you have in your colander. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fry them, stirring regularly, for about 15 minutes.
After they are done being cooking in the frying pan for about 15 minutes, pour the lentils into your water that’s flavored with either ham concentrate or ham bone. (Remove ham bone if going this route).
Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
Pour the lentils over rice – and enjoy! I know it sounds like a lot of steps, but it will be so worth it! Like I said, I made this for the first time today and couldn’t believe how good it was. And Chris LOVED it! I was so afraid it wouldn’t taste like grandma’s, but it truly did! The lentils made a LOT of soup, too, so Chris and I both will be having that for lunch throughout the week.
This is a very inexpensive meal to make, and a little goes a long way! Grandma was known for making the most delicious meals out of just a few ingredients. If you try this recipe, please let me know how yours turned out!