The Pulses of Life!

I love lentils – of every color and variety.

I’ve been enjoying them for decades – and have concocted soups, burgers, loaves, you name it with them. So when Gail (GoodFood World editor) nudged me to enter the National Lentil Festival Cook-off in Pullman, WA, for this summer’s annual contest, I was delighted.

I really wanted to enter my Unmeatloaf recipe, but the contest rules required 15 ingredients or less. Well, I guess it has a lot of stuff in it because I came up with too many ingredients (not knowing if herbs and spices count).

I decided to enter one of the simplest recipes I have. It uses red lentils… which actually are my favorite… shhh.  This is easy, comforting, beautiful, and tastes CRAZY good with summer harvest tomatoes.

I know that in summer it’s often too hot to eat warm or hot food. But on a cool night, a rainy day, NOW in June, or late August into September – this tastes divine with roasted garden tomatoes! You can also just cut them up fresh and plop them in the lentil pot.

So, my dear GoodFood World readers, I sure hope you’ll be inspired to try out this easy recipe. What I love about it is that it only takes 5 ingredients. For a full out easy dinner, try it with roasted cauliflower, rice, and steamed greens of any variety.

Bon appétit.

Red Lentil, Roasted Tomatoes and Dill Soup


  • 2 TBS organic butter
  • 1 large Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped (to equal about 3 1/2 -4 cups worth)
  • 2 cups red lentils (rinsed)
  • 6 1/2  – 7 cups water
  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes – cut into wedges
  • 5 cloves garlic slightly smashed and sliced
  • 1 tsp salt – or to taste
  • fresh black pepper
  • 3 -4 TBS of fresh dill, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Sauté onion and garlic in soup pot with butter. Cover pot for about six minutes, until onion is just translucent. Add water and lentils.

Cover lightly and bring to a gentle boil. Lower heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 50 minutes.

While lentils cook, place chopped tomatoes in baking dish with the sliced garlic cloves. Drizzle a little of olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over them.

Roast or bake until they brown and wilt, about 30 minutes. (Check at 25 minutes to ensure they don’t burn.)

Add roasted tomatoes with all juices to the soup pot. When lentils are soft, add salt, pepper, and fresh dill. Mix gently and taste. Adjust seasonings if needed. Enjoy.

NOTE: Pulses are the edible seeds of various crops of the legume family, which include beans, peas and lentils. They are inexpensive, plentiful, delicious, unbelievably healthy, and so misrepresented in our American diet!

They come packed with vitamins and minerals, provide tremendous amounts of health benefiting fiber for our digestion and intestines, deliver impressive quantities of protein, cost so very little, AND actually ENHANCE THE SOIL THEY ARE GROWN IN.

That’s right, the most defining characteristic of legumes is that they bear nodules on their roots that contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and this enhances the soil. You can buy them dried or canned, organic or not. Even the most expensive organic beans are only about $2.50 for a 15 oz. can, and bought dried in bulk they are even less expensive!