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The CIA Cookbook
by The Culinary Institute of America
Of all vegetables, lentils, at approximately twenty-five percent, are second only to soy- beans in protein content. They have been cultivated by humans for millennia, as evidenced by their presence at ancient Egyptian and prehistoric European sites. Today, lentils are available in several varieties, such as the yellow lentil and the green (French) lentil. The red (Egyptian) lentil is the quickest cooking of all lentils, and lends itself well to soup making because, as it cooks, it tends to fall apart and practically purees itself.
Makes 8 servings


• 3 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1/2 large onion, minced (about 1 cup)
• 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tsp)
• 1/2 celery stalk, diced (about 1/4 cup)
• 1 lb red lentils
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 2 tbsp long-grain white rice
• 2½ quarts Chicken Broth, or as needed
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• Salt, to taste
• Freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and celery. Cook until the onion is translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add the lentils and cumin, and stir to coat evenly with butter. Cook, 4 to 5 minutes. 

2. Add the rice and 5 cups of the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often to avoid scorching, until the lentils dissolve and begin to look like a pureed soup, 30 to 45 minutes. Add the remaining broth as needed to adjust the consistency. Heat through.

3. Season with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve in heated bowls.


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