Cuban Style Lentil Soup with Baked Plantains and Lemon Crema
A robust soup with plenty of vegetables and spiced up with traditional Cuban flavors. Garnished with a lemon-crema and irresistible baked plantains. Warming and healthy! Vegetarian and Gluten-Free.
Heat oil in a heavy, non-reactive 3 quart pot, add onions and sauté over low-medium heat for 5 minutes until translucent, but not colored. Add celery, carrots and bay leaves, stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and seasoning* and stir one minute more, to release the flavors.
Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, sprouted lentils and orange juice.
Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer about 35 minutes – stirring occasionally until the lentils are very tender.
Cool slightly and puree 1/3 of the soup in a blender, returning the puree to the pot – give a big stir.
Taste the soup and salt if necessary – this will depend on the saltiness of your vegetable broth.
Add 2 dashes of cayenne pepper and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, stir well.
Serve the soup in individual bowls.
Garnish the soup with:
Baked Plantain Cubes
Roasted Spiked Chickpeas
Slice a very ripe plantain 1/2″ thick. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush 2 teaspoons neutral oil over and under slices.
Cook in a preheated 400 degree oven until slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Turn over with tongs, brush with 1 teaspoon more oil and continue cooking
until golden and softened – about 5 – 8 minutes longer. Cut into 1/2 chunks.(Ripe plantains have peels that are almost completely black. However, the firm, ripe ones called for in this recipe are black and yellow. Roll the unpeeled plantains on the counter to soften them.)
In a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons sour cream or greek yogurt. Add 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 1/4 t. seasoning and a pinch of salt, stir and refrigerate.
Roasted Spiked Chickpeas:
Rinse 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, place them on a paper towel to dry. Rub gently to remove any skins and discard them.
Place chickpeas on a small baking pan and cook in a preheated 400 degree oven for 3 minutes to dry them out.
Add 2 teaspoons oil and 2 teaspoons seasoning, rub in well. Roasted in oven, shaking once,until just a little crispy, about 10 minutes.
Karen’s Salt Free Sazón Cuban Seasoning:
2 T. onion powder
1 T. ground black pepper
1 T. cumin seed, toasted and ground
2 t. lemon zest, dried and ground
2 T. dehydrated garlic, granulated
1 T. oregano
1 t. celery seed, ground
1 t. smoked paprika
2 t. annatto seeds, ground
1/2 t. tumeric
Mix all together. Yield: 1/2 cup. Store on an airtight, glass container in a cool, dark place.
‘World Spice Menchants’ Cuban Spice – is a natural product with somewhat similar ingredients.
Sprouted Lentils are easier to digest – increasing vitamins and micronutrients and activating digestive enzymes.
Alternately – soaking lentils in plenty of cold water overnight can significantly reduce their phytate levels, helping to lower their potential for causing bloating. Not just “overnight” as many recipes call for, but for 1-3 days. The longer they are soaked the easier they are to digest – do so in very warm, filtered water.
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This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.