Lentils are a meal the whole family can enjoy. They are a hearty substitute for meat, make a great addition to soups and stews, and they freeze well. I make lentils on a regular basis for my husband and I and usually make extra to freeze. If you do choose to prepare this recipe only for your baby I suggest cutting the recipe in half (and you'll still have enough to freeze for future meals!)
1 cup brown lentils
5 cups water
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, whole
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 tsp. each cumin, ground coriander (curry powder optional)
1/2 tsp. turmeric
pinch of cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste.
In a large saucepan, sautee garlic and olive oil on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until translucent.
Add celery and carrot to the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. If they start sticking to the pan simply add more olive oil or a few tablespoons of water.
Add lentils to the saucepan, then the spices and toast for about 2 minutes (just as you would for a risotto!).
Add water, bring to a boil then cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes (or until lentils are soft). *If you prefer a denser soup add only 4 cups of water and then more water if needed, or vice versa.
Once the lentils are cooked I puree about one cup just to give the soup a little more consistency.
Store baby's portion in baby cubes (I like to scoop out mainly the lentils and less broth so it's easier for baby to eat). Add salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to your portion.
Serve immediately or freeze for a quick "go-to" meal.
Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan on top. Serve alone, mix with rice or quinoa or serve as a side dish with fish.