Where did I hear this story? There were two guys. One often dined with the king and ate sumptuously on rich food. The other stayed home and ate humble lentils. The first guy said to the second, “You should learn to be nice to the king so you don’t have to eat lentils.” The second guy replied, “You should learn to eat lentils so you don’t have to be nice to the king.”
Lentils are tasty, nutritious, and yes, cheap. Here’s how I’ve been enjoying them lately.
After we’ve eaten a roasted chicken we* put the carcass and whatever remains on it into a large pot with celery, carrots,onion, and a quantity of water and we simmer it for a few hours. This makes a stock that is probably not as good as using a whole raw chicken, but still pretty good. Then we pour the cooled stock into muffin tins and freeze it. When it has frozen we pop the stock out of the tins and put them into a zipper freezer bag. Label and use when needed.
My lunch for the past few days has been reheated chicken stock with a handful of barley and lentils. I should sing the praises of barley too. So much texture! Today I added some frozen spinach. Actually, I added too much spinach and had to skim some of it out. We don’t season our stock so I added a little salt. Be careful about that – it’s easy to add too much.
And TA-DA! a soup you can chew.
By the way, this is my favorite way to cook – winging it without a recipe.
*By “we” I generally mean my husband, but I do it when I have to.