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You can say many great things about lentils (heart-healthy, low-cholesterol, superfood), but the word pretty rarely makes the list. After all, we’ve all seen our fair share of gloppy, gray lentil soups. The key to making one that’s gorgeous? Learning how to cook the legumes so that they maintain their structure (see Finishing Touches, below) and using heirloom varieties that are bigger and brighter. This recipe calls for lovely golden lentils, caramelized onions and toasty spices, and makes for a soup that’s pretty enough for company--or at least dinner and a chick flick.
Slow cooking is the key to preventing the lentils from becoming too mushy--boiling the lentils too vigorously may cause them to split, break or become overcooked. Once the broth comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and stir the lentils gently while they cook to maintain their texture.
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