Rice and lentils have been paired together for millennia. We’ve put them together again to make this easy, hearty Brown Lentil & Rice Soup not only delicious but also nutritious, providing complete protein. Brown lentils can be found in most health-food stores. They cook quickly and hold their shape better than the soft green ones. If you can’t find them, use the green variety; the taste won’t suffer. Enjoy this soup with a crunchy green salad with a miso dressing.
- Pick through the lentils and wash them well. Wash the rice. Set aside.
- In a heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When it starts to ripple, add the sliced garlic and cook until it starts to turn golden. Remove the garlic.
- Add the onions and carrots to the oil, along with the savory and cumin. Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables start to soften. Add the bay leaf, sprinkle with a little salt and turn the heat down to medium-low. Partially cover and sweat the vegetables until they caramelize a little, about 10 minutes. Take care not to burn them!
- Add the lentils to the vegetables. Turn the heat up to high and cook, stirring, for 1 minute so the lentils can absorb the flavors. Add the rice and stir to mix, then add the stock or water. Bring to a boil and remove any scum that forms with a slotted spoon.
- Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the whole garlic, lay the parsley sprigs on top of the soup, and cover. Cook until both the rice and lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Add a little water if the lentils seem too dry. Remove the parley sprigs and check for salt. Sprinkle with a grind or two of black pepper and serve.
- 2 cups brown lentils
- ½ cup basmati or other long-grain brown rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, plus 2 whole cloves, peeled
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 4 large or 6 medium carrots, cut into small dice
- 1 sprig thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 cups water
- 3 sprigs of parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste