Green Eston Lentils
Green Eston Lentils are pale green, slightly speckled, lens-shaped legumes that are known for their easy preparation, earthy flavor and high protein content.
Carefully sort lentils and rinse thoroughly. Bring 4 cups water to boil in saucepan. Slowly stir in 1 cup lentils. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until lentils are still firm but cooked through. Do not overcook. Drain lentils and rinse with cold water. Season with salt. Refrigerate until serving.
Storage & handling
Store in a cool, dry place.
Green Eston Lentils, or "Lens esculenta," are a smaller, speckled variety of green lentils that are hearty and firm. If desired, they can be cooked for a longer time, breaking down easily and acting as a thickening agent. Unlike their cousin, the bean, lentils do not need to be soaked and therefore are much faster to prepare.
The bushy, annual lentil plant is a member of the legume family, growing about 16 inches tall with seed-producing pods. The dried seeds stored within those pods are the lentils themselves. Lentils are part of a family of legumes collectively known as pulses, which also includes dried peas and sometimes chickpeas.
The lentil is one of the oldest cultivated legumes -- even being mentioned throughout the Hebrew Bible -- and is believed to be native to southwestern Asia and northern Syria. The word lentil stems from the Latin "lens."
Lentils are often paired with grains or rice to provide a complete protein. Rice and lentils make up the popular Indian dish "khichdi," as well the one of the national dishes of Egypt, "kushari." About a quarter of lentil production is from India, most of which is consumed by its domestic market.
In addition to high protein and fiber content, the lentil is also packed with iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium. Eating lentils and other pulses may help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. They are also an excellent source of folate, which is especially important during pregnancy to help prevent certain birth defects.
This vegan green lentil soup gets its tangy flavor from ground sumac and its thickness from a small amount of our Fine Bulgur. Our Green Eston Lentils hold their shape well through long cooking times, so the lentils should retain quite a bit of their structure, giving the soup extra body and texture.