The lentils I cook most often these days are either the organic red lentils you can get at the health food store, which are closely related to Indian Masoor dal, and the Turkish Yellow lentils which you find at the middle eastern store, I get mine in S.D. at North Park Produce.

Other day i made a very simple lentil soup. You can see a photo on my facebook page Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Natural Living. My soups often have a bit of Indian influence, as in the fact that I frequently use turmeric where an Arab or Turkish cook would not. And I tend to use more spices and herbs.

Here is what I did,

Ingredients

Turkish yellow lentils around a 1.5 cups before cooking
White onion , 1, diced
chopped tomato, roma, 2-3
tomato puree, organic, italian, 1 tbsp,
turmeric, a solid dash
cumin powder, 1 tsp or so
garlic, crushed 1 tsp or so
salt, sea, to taste, start w/1 tsp and see what happens
black pepper, fresh ground tellicherry, naturally. (richer deeper flavor)
mexican squash/zuchinni, choped in half moons, 3/4 of a cup or less
chopped parsley from the garden, a tablespoon or two, to taste
olive oil, from crete or palestine are my favs, a tbsp or two.
lemon, if you want more sour, add at end, fresh


Method

Wash and soak the lentils for an hour or more
Boil till soft
As they boil add everything but the squash, parsley, oil, and lemon.
When the lentils are almost done or done, add the squash.
When all done, turn off and add the olive oil and parsley.
Stir, cover, and after 5 minutes, taste.
Is the parsley the right amount?
Is the sour taste about right? If not, add some lemon.
Serve with fresh lemon for people that want it even more lemony.

Notes

I added the spices and tomato, and then tasted. I wanted more tomato flavor so i added the puree.
Another way to make this is to saute the spices, onion, and then garlic in olive oil and tadd to the boiling lentils halfway through. That brings out the spices, but makes them more intense, and the soup is oilier. I wanted a milder soup this time around.

Ayurveda

Vatta: Great soup for Vatas that tolerate soft cooked lentils. This is a question of degree. Louis, who is a Pitta Vatta, gets a lot of gas from some veggies, but has no problem with well cooked beans and lentils.
Louise, who is a Vatta Pita, gets terrible gas just looking at beans and lentils.
Obviously she cannot have this soup. But Louis can.

For some Vattas this soup is ideal, because it is heavy, warm, unctuous, sweet, salty, and sour. And if ever there were a lentil or bean that a Vatta would tolerate, it would be these or the red lentils. Chick peas are usually pretty Vatta friendly, too.

Pitta

Well tolerated. If an unbalanced Pitta, leave out the pepper, minimize the garlic and onion, or even remove it, careful with the parsley, and add more squash, double the turmeric, and add some carrot or bitter green like kale or dandelion.

Now it is less pungent, more sweet and bitter, and lighter.

Kapha

Minimize the oil, cook with some chili pepper, and make it more hot and less sour.
Use this soup as a way to trick your Kapha into eating more veggies. Add more squash and bitter green veggies, as with Pitta. Both those doshas need the cleansing action of Bitter.

Copyright Eyton J. Shalom, M.S., L.Ac. San Diego, CA All Rights Reserved, Use With Permission
Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Chinese Medicine in San Diego

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