Hearty Lentils and Beans

First off, I want to give a heart felt thank you for all the incredible comments and emails that people sent with regards to Alex.  The fact that you took the time to share your experiences, support and love really touched my heart.  I was especially stirred by the tribute that my friend Julie from Willow Bird Baking did over at her site.  If you haven’t had a chance to stop by and check it out, you should definitely do so.  Her class of 7th graders is one amazing clan of kids.  I had a hard time seeing clearly through all my blubbering and tears, but I know it involved teenage boys dressed in pink and a rainbow tribute from the entire class to Alex.  THIS is why the internet is so incredibly amazing.  People you’ve never even met can lift your spirit and make a difference in your life with the single touch of a button.  Thank you so very much.

Now we’ll get back to why we’re all here today – food.  And not just any food.  I’m going veggie.  I know I don’t do it often enough on the blog; I have a meat obsessed loving husband, so it’s a bit of a challenge.  Believe it or not though, there’s talk of dropping meat for the fourty days of Lent.  He did get me to agree that we could still eat seafood.  I think he’s afraid that if he consumes nothing but beans and tofu for the duration, he’ll shrivel up into nothing and be done with it.

If we do manage to carry through with our Lenten challenge, I know that the meat free dishes I concoct will have to be hearty and have a meat “feel” to them for my husband to want to indulge full on.  This dish succeeds in both challenges.  You know you have a winner on your hands when the carnivore in your family not only goes back for seconds, but also takes the leftovers to work for lunch the following day.  Booyah.  I’m going to make a vegetarian out of him yet.

Creating a pot is super simple.  If you don’t have a package of precooked lentils at your disposal, cook up a cup according to bag directions, subbing vegetable broth for water, and set to the side.

Grab up a dutch oven or a large frying pan and heat a tablespoon of oil on medium heat.  Toss in an onion, a couple cloves of garlic and half a jalapeno.

After they have browned up for a minute or two, add in a can of diced tomatoes, a little veggie broth and a couple spices.

Give it a spin or two with your spoon and add in the pinto beans and the cooked lentils.  I’ve successfully made this dish with both green and red lentils, so grab your favorite and run with it.

Stir those in and finish it off with a tablespoon of butter and a couple spoonfuls of cream.  If you’re not thrilled about the added fat, simply leave it out.  I personally think it helps to balance the acidity of the tomatoes as well as add a little extra creaminess to the final product.  But then again, I’m a dairy addicted Wisconsin girl, can you blame me?

Serve it up as is for a delectable side or spoon it over rice and top with a few preferred condiments for an appetizing main dish.  Vegetarian meat lovers satisfaction guaranteed.

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Hearty Lentils and Beans

Yield: Approx. 8 One Cup Servings

Total Time: 30 min


1 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Onion, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Jalapeno, Diced
1 15 Oz. Can Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 15 Oz. Can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
2 Cups Cooked Lentils
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Heavy Cream


Using a dutch oven or large frying pan, heat up the oil on medium heat.

Add in the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Let cook for a minute or two.

Add in the tomatoes, broth, cilantro, cumin, chili powder and salt.

Pour in the can of beans and the cooked lentils.

Add in the butter and heavy cream.

Heat through and serve straight up as a side or as a main dish over rice with a few shreds of cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.

*If you're boiling up your own lentils, use 1 cup of dry. Add corresponding liquid and use cooking times according to manufacturers directions. Sub vegetable broth for water to up the flavor levels.

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13 Responses to “Hearty Lentils and Beans”

  1. 1

    Kristi Rimkus — February 10, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    What a sweet little boy you have. Truly a blessing and so is this hearty soup. I love bean soups. They are so good for you, and even meat lovers are satisfied after the finish off the bowl. Have a good weekend. :)

  2. 2

    Jenna — February 10, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    That sounds like a great Lenten challenge–maybe my husband and I will take it up too. Thankfully he’s a little less meat-needing, though he does love bacon . . . (then again, so do I!)

  3. 3

    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — February 10, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

    Love your sweet boy!

    And that bowl of lentils?!? Speaks COMFORT :)

  4. 4

    Jessica — February 11, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    This bowl of lentils looks amazing – I love the addition of just a smidge of cream and butter. Total vegetarian comfort food! I’m going to try this out on my carnivore husband – I have high hopes after hearing that your carnivore hubby loved it!

  5. 5

    Ameena — February 11, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

    The Internet is truly amazing…I have “met” so many amazing people. Yourself included! And your little Alex is too sweet.

    Lentils are a staple in my house – love how easy they are to make. This side looks right up my alley!

  6. 6

    Mari — February 11, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

    Julie, this soup looks, deliciosa! I would love a bowl right now! This ones goes to my soups board :)

  7. 7

    grace — February 12, 2012 @ 3:19 am

    yum! what an amazing bowl of legumes, julie. :)

  8. 8

    Rita — February 12, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    We love a good bean soup and when lentils are included it is even better. Looks so very good.

  9. 9

    Rach — February 12, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

    This looks so comforting!

  10. 10

    beti — February 12, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

    it’s been raining in here and this would be just perfect, looks really good

  11. 11

    Jenny @ BAKE — February 13, 2012 @ 7:22 am

    I love how happy and summery these photos look. I would love to go vegetarian, the meat industry is just such a horrific waste of the worlds resources, but I know that if I still had to cook meat for my other half I would crumble and give in to it within minutes! I try to make a few veggie meals a week to make myself feel better, and this recipe will be at the top of my list!

  12. 12

    Gitte — March 26, 2012 @ 6:30 am

    I’ve got no problem going veggie but like you, my husband loves his meat. To me this sounds super delicious. Great post!

  13. 13

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