This sprouted lentil soup recipe was inspired by a similar one in ‘Raw Living: The Uncook Book’, by Juliano. It has become one of my favourite non-dairy cream-base soups. Apart from being delicious, I love that it can be eaten in its raw state or heated up, which satisfies my occasional raw-food whims. I almost always sprout my own lentils (scroll down for the method) but you can save time by picking up some lentil sprouts from your local grocery store. I think any type of sprouts or sprout-combo pack will work. You could also adapt the recipe and substitute chopped fresh asparagus spears or fresh or thawed frozen peas for the sprouts.
If you decide to sprout your own lentils, you will want to start them 2 or 3 days before you make the soup.
Yield: 4 generous servings
- 1 ½ cups sprouted lentils, (recipe follows)
- 600 ml (2½ -3 cups) nut milk (recipe follows)
- 200 grams (or about 2/3 cup chopped fresh tomato)
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 small avocado, or ½ a large avocado
- 2 tbsp. fresh dill, reserve half for garnish
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- ½ tsp. Celtic or pink Himalayan salt
- 1 small red chili, sliced in thin rings, optional
- Dash paprika
Set half of the sprouted lentils aside and put the other half in a high-speed blender. Place the remaining ingredients except the chilli and reserved fresh dill (1 tablespoon) in the blender and puree. (Does not have to be completely smooth.) Divide the remaining sprouted lentils between 4 bowls and pour equal amounts of soup over each. Garnish with fresh dill and sliced chili or finely chopped red pepper.
- 250 grams (1 cup) raw, unsalted cashews (or almonds)
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- Pinch sea salt
- 750 ml water
Soak cashews in water for at least 4 hours. Rinse and drain. Place soaked nuts in a high-speed blender with enough water to cover (about 1 cup). Turn the blender on and blend until water and nuts have emulsified somewhat. Add 2 more cups water and blend until milk starts to look frothy, about a minute. Strain the nut mixture through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag into a clean pitcher. Use your hands to squeeze the pulp to release as much nut milk possible. Discard the pulp.
I like to use organic, regular green lentils, French lentils or “lentilles du Puy” but any lentils that hold their shape will work. The photo above shows the lentils after 3-4 days of sprouting. You can see that the tails are at least an inch long or longer but that isn’t a necessity. They don’t need to be that long for this soup. When the lentil has softened enough for you to bite into it or dig you fingernail easily through the legume, they’re ready.
- 1/3 cup dry lentils
Rinse lentils in cold filtered water until the water runs clear. Fill a clean bowl or jar with fresh water and soak the lentils for 8-16 hours. Then, strain the soaked lentils through a fine mesh sieve or double layer of cheesecloth. Cover with the cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Set the bowl or jar on the counter. Rinse and strain lentils twice a day for 24-72 hours or until lentils start sprouting little tails. When tail are ¼ – ½ -inch in length, lentils are ready to be eaten. Sprouted lentils should be refrigerated at this stage to slow the sprouting process.
Nut Milk bags are available at health food stores but a double or triple layer of cheesecloth works just as well.
You do not need a Vita Mix to make the nut milk or for this soup recipe. The soup does not have to be completely smooth and I actually prefer it that way. I enjoy the colour and texture from small unprocessed bits of red pepper, tomato and dill.