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Brown Lentils

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What is it?

Lentils, like other legumes, are seeds that grow inside of pods. What distinguishes lentils from the thousands of other legumes such as peas, beans, and peanuts is their double-convex, lens-like shape. In fact, the word lens comes from the Latin word for lentil. Common brown lentils are the mainstay of traditional lentil soup because they tend to disintigrate when cooked and thicken the soup.

Kitchen math:

1 lb. = about 2-1/4 cups = about 5 cups cooked

Don’t have it?

You can substitute other lentils, though their texture and flavor will differ some. French green lentils can sub in salad and side dishes but red lentils, which also fall apart during cooking, are a better substitute in a soup.

How to choose:

You can find brown lentils (often just called lentils) in supermarkets near the dried beans and split peas.

How to prep:

Pick the lentils over for tiny stones or other debris and rinse well. Unlike dried beans, lentils don’t to be soaked before cooking; they cook in about 30 to 45 minutes.

How to store:

Stored airtight in a cool dry place, lentils will last at least a year.

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