In honor of Easter, here’s our favorite lunch recipe of late. (We’re doing this for Easter, because Esau — and the lentil soup he bargained his birthright for — are both in the Bible, I guess?) Canal House Lentils, via Bon Appétit, provides the basic recipe, modified here. We’ll usually cook a batch on Sundays for the week ahead.

Cornbread goes perfectly with lentils. It’s satisfyingly carb-y, and only requires similarly humble ingredients. Any recipe will do, for you cornbread purists out there, but we’ve found this one’s easy and delicious.

Lastly, the two recipes below make enough for eight or so meals and cost, per our math, around a dollar per meal. That’s what drew us to lentils in the first place (but even better is how healthy lentils are).

Shall we?

Canal House Lentils

1 16-ounce. bag of dried red lentils (green are fine, but we like red better)

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

Half head of garlic, minced

1 hefty white onion, chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable, enough to cover lentils)

8 tablespoons soy sauce

Green onions and plain yogurt (we like Fage) for topping

Salt and pepper to taste

1.) Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add onion and caramelize, about 30 minutes.

2.) Add garlic and brown.

3.) Add tomato paste and brown, about four minutes. Add lentils, then stock, and stir. Cover and bring to a boil, then slow to a simmer and cook, covered, about 20 to 25 minutes.

4.) When lentils are tender, reduce heat and let sit five minutes. Then remove from heat and add soy sauce, then season with salt and pepper.

Obviously, bacon is a great addition, and we’re investigating anchovies and mushrooms as well.


1 cup yellow corn meal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine milk and vinegar and let stand.

2.) Mix dry ingredients. Add milk and oil. Stir until just blended.

3.) Grease a 9-by-9 metal pan and pour in batter. Bake at 425 for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove when browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I’ve added jalapeños and cheese (just eyeballing the amounts) to the cornbread with success. It is also delicious plain with honey, butter and cinnamon for dessert.

Serve hot cornbread and lentils in a bowl and top with green onions and plain yogurt. Leftovers keep for a week when sealed tightly.

Rocky Mountain Food Report, RMFR Original, Pikes Peak Region food news
“The Lentil Stew,” by Matthias Stomer (fl. 1615–1649). Genesis 25:34: “Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.”

[Images:Bryce Crawford; Wikipedia]