If you are gluten-free please don’t buy your lentils from a bulk bin in the store. They will likely be cross-contaminated! Just like with processed foods, you need to verify that the source is safe. When we first went gluten-free I discovered lentils were giving Kid2 and me symptoms of being glutened. It turned out that the lentils we were buying from Azure Standard were being repackaged in the same facility with all the grains they sell! We solved this problem by finding out which quantity came directly from the field and buying that. We haven’t had a problem since.
On the GAPS diet, very few legumes are allowed, and they are considered an advanced food. We didn’t even try them until we’d been transitioning into the full diet for a couple months already. Soaking legumes leaches out phytic acid and other antinutrients. Sprouting them causes the plant to convert some of the starch into simple sugars that are easier to digest, and boosts the nutritional value as well!
Sprouting the Lentils
What You Need:
- A couple days before you plan to make the soup, rinse your lentils thoroughly, removing bits of rock and debris from them.
- Put the lentils in the jar, and then add filtered water until the jar is full. The jar will only be half-full of lentils at this point.
- Put the screen on, cover with a cloth, and set on the counter for 8-12 hours.
- Leaving the lentils in the jar, pour out the water. Then rinse with fresh filtered water, and set the jar on its side, tipped slightly so that the water can run out of the jar. You do not want standing water in the jar, because the lentils will mold.
- Repeat the rinsing process twice a day until the lentils have sprouted. They can be sprouted for about 3 days at the most, then they can be transfered to the refrigerator to keep for another week.
Making Sprouted Lentil Soup
- 8 cups sprouted lentils
- 2 pints homemade chicken or beef stock
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 Bay leaves
- Real salt
- Put all ingredients in an 8 quart stainless steel pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
- Check the lentils for tenderness after about 20 minutes. Continue to cook until they are soft.
- Add filtered water or additional stock if necessary.
- Cook the lentils until they are mush and let it reduce until there is no broth, and add Indian seasonings for a dal-style lentil soup or a dip.
- Separately sautee vegetables such as onion, celery, and carrot with seasonings, then add them to the soup when it is nearly done cooking and cook unti the flavors blend and your vegetables are as soft as you like them.
- Add herbs such as oregano or parsley to the soup when it is done.
- Top with yogurt or grated parmesan cheese.
If you decide to freeze it, make sure you use jars that are a pint size or smaller which have no necks so that they don’t crack!