French lentils in the crock pot?
I'm in the mood to throw some mirepoix and lentils into the crock pot and then sit down to dinner a few hours later. I only have French lentils on hand, do you think those need soaking or an extra-long slow cooker cooking time? I know red lentils would do just fine in about 4 hours but not sure about the green French ones.
Got any favorite recipes to share? Thanks!
I like that I can put everything in the pot and leave the house for the afternoon and come back and it's done. I also like how the flavors really get a chance to meld together when simmering that low and slow for so long.
I made black bean soup in the slow cooker once and it took a LONG time, like 12-14 hours, but the depth of flavor was amazing. I just never know which legumes are going to take the longest.
Lentils take virtually no time to cook, any where between 20 to 40 minutes, starting them in cold water, depending on how "old" they are, that is, how long they've been on the shelf. Beans are much firmer than lentils and require much longer cooking time.
So it wouldn't be anywhere near worth it to cook lentils in a crockpot.
Well, black beans on my stovetop take 2+ hours after an overnight soaking, so that doesn't surprise me. I have a legume cooking time chart in one of my cookbooks somewhere, I'll try to find it for you. As I recall, here are approximate cooking times from shortest to longest. I soak all overnight except lentils.
Lentils- 20-30 min
Split peas - 1 hr
Kidney Beans- 1 hr
White Beans - 1 1/2 hr
Black Beans- 2+ hrs
Chickpeas- 3 hrs