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Flavourful pulse soup: it’s all in the seasoning

Hearty and flavourful pulse soups can warm up the menu during the cooler fall weather. They can vary greatly with the use of herbs or spices, even though most include carrots, onion, garlic, potatoes, celery and a dry pulse.

The following is a selection of recipes that were submitted by readers in a recent TEAM contest.

Pea and sweet potato soup

Submitted by Lynn Tanner of Trochu, Alta.

This soup has a curry flavour.

  • 4 c. water 1 L
  • 2 c. vegetable or chicken broth 500 mL
  • 1 c. dried split green or yellow peas 250 mL
  • 3/4 c. split red lentils 175 mL
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cubed (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, grated 15 mL
  • 1 tsp. curry powder 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL
  • 1 1/2 tsp. canola oil 7 mL
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder 1 mL
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice 30 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt (optional) 5 mL
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seed 30 mL

Combine water, broth, dried peas and red lentils in slow cooker. Set heat to high. Combine potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onion, ginger, one teaspoon (5 mL) curry powder and one teaspoon (5 mL) salt. Add to slow cooker, stir well. Cover and cook on high for five to eight hours or until vegetables are soft.
In small fry pan heat oil, saute garlic and quarter teaspoon (1 mL) curry powder until curry is toasted, about one minute.

Stir mixture into soup, add lemon juice and salt to taste. Heat and serve with a garnish of ground flax seed.

Hungarian lentil soup

Submitted by Annie Mistolczi of Prud’homme, Sask.

  • 3 tbsp. lard or margarine 45 mL
  • 1 c. onion, chopped 250 mL
  • 2 tbsp. sweet paprika 30 mL
  • 2 c. brown lentils 500 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. carrots, chopped 375 mL
  • 1 c. celery, chopped 250 mL
  • 2 c. tomatoes, peeled and chopped 500 mL
  • 5.5 oz. can tomato paste 156 mL
  • 6 c. beef or chicken broth 1.5 L
  • 2 c. water 500 mL
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp. lard 45 mL
  • 3 tbsp flour 45 mL

Saute onion in first amount of lard or margarine, then add sweet paprika and mix. Sort lentils and rinse with water, then add to onions and paprika. Add carrots, celery, tomatoes and tomato paste, stir to mix. Add broth, water, salt and pepper. Simmer for two hours.

Prepare a roux with the second amount of lard, melt in a frying pan, add flour, then stir to mix. Heat and stir until brown. To prevent burning, watch carefully and stir frequently.
Add some broth to the roux. Carefully stir roux and broth into soup to thicken. If necessary, add more broth.

Haluska dumplings

  • 1 1/2 c. flour 375 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. water 60 mL

Heat a pot of salted water to boiling.
Mix flour and salt. In a separate bowl, beat egg lightly with water. Add water and egg to flour and salt, mix into a dough.
Pinch off small pieces of dough and drop into boiling salted water, stir the water to prevent dough from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
When dumplings rise to the top they are done. Drain and add to the soup.
Serve with a garnish of paprika.

Split pea and rice soup

Submitted by Ann Klatik of Camrose, Alta.

  • 2 tsp. olive oil 10 mL
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 c. dry split green peas 375 mL
  • 1 smoked pork hock or meaty ham bone *
  • 2 c. carrots, chopped 500 mL
  • 1 c. potatoes, chopped 250 mL
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 8 c. water 2 L
  • 3 – 4 c. chicken or vegetable broth 750 – 1000 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme 2 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper 2 mL
  • 3/4 c. white or brown rice 175 mL
  • 1/2 c. chopped parsley 125 mL

Heat the oil in a non-stick Dutch oven at medium heat, add onion and garlic, saute, stirring frequently until onion is golden brown. Sort and rinse the dry peas, add to onion and garlic. Add pork hock or ham bone, carrots, potatoes, celery, water, broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove hock or ham bones and trim off meat. Chop meat into small pieces and return to soup.
While soup is simmering, precook the rice about 25 minutes.
Add rice and chopped parsley. Heat for five minutes and serve with a garnish of parsley.
Ham stock can be made ahead of time when a ham bone is available. Freeze in two cup (500 mL) containers and freeze the chopped meat separately.

* Note: a pork hock is the lower portion of the leg and ankle, while the ham is the hip and upper leg.
A smoked shoulder is from the upper front leg and shoulder. When smoked and cured, the bones with meat remaining on them can be boiled to produce a flavourful broth for soups.
Sweet paprika is added to the sauteed onions to produce a sweet, warm flavour. The soup is also thickened and Hungarian Haluska dumplings are added to make a thick hearty soup. It is often served for Christmas Eve supper along with a sweet dessert like poppy seed and plum jam pastry.

Online extras:

To celebrate 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, the Western Producer readers were asked to send in their favourite pulse recipe.

Pulses are the dry edible seeds of legume crops. Canada is the largest exporter of pulses with 30 percent of the world pea production, and 40 percent of the world lentil production. Beans, chickpeas and faba beans are also grown in Canada.

Nuts and whole grain cereals are a complementary protein for pulses. When combined in a meal or recipe, all the essential amino acids the body requires are provided in the appropriate amounts.

Pulses are high in fibre, containing both soluble and insoluble fibres. Soluble fibre helps decrease blood cholesterol and control blood sugar levels, insoluble fibre aids digestion. When adding pulses to the diet, it is essential to drink extra water to prevent constipation. Once the body has adapted to the increased fibre, regularity will stabilize.

All recipes have been edited and converted to metric measurements by TEAM.

Lentil puree

For use in pulse recipes

  • 1 c. any variety of dry lentils 250 mL
  • 2 1/2 – 3 c. water 625 – 750 mL

Sort and rinse lentils, combine with water and cook 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of lentils, until soft.

Cool, drain excess liquid off, and reserve. Place lentils and two tablespoons (30 mL) of liquid in food processor, puree, adding more liquid if needed. Yields about 2 1/2 cups (625 mL). Measure into containers and freeze in amounts needed for recipes.

Baked Scone Biscuits

Submitted by Sylvia Zacharki from Prince Albert, Sask.

We love pulses and the best, favourite and most versatile pulse recipe I use is baked scone biscuits.

They are nutritious, healthy and filling. I serve them for breakfast with butter, jam, cheese or yogurt. For lunch, they pair with soup or a salad or serve with cream cheese or cottage cheese. They are good with any main course but especially lentil chili. For a snack, serve these biscuits with fruit, cheese or hummus.

They are easy to make, freeze well and always turn out.

Bake Scone Biscuits

  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour 425 mL
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice if using whole wheat flour 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder 15 mL
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar 15 mL
  • or
  • 1 tbsp. honey, melted 15 mL
  • 1/4 c. butter or margarine, soft and unsalted 60 mL
  • 1 c. lentil puree 250 mL (red, green or brown lentils work well, the darker the lentils the nuttier the biscuits) see below
  • 2/3 – 1 c. 1 % milk 150 – 250 mL
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl.

Cut butter into the dry ingredients, using a pastry blender or fork, until a course crumbly mixture.

In a second bowl, combine lemon juice, lentil puree, honey (if using), milk and egg, then combine until egg is completely mixed in.

Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, stir just until combined.

Spray cookie sheet with oil. Drop biscuit dough onto cookie sheet in about two inch (5 cm) mounds. Or place dough on a well floured surface, flour hands well and pat dough down to about 1 1/2 inch (3 cm) thickness. Cut with a two inch (5 cm) cookie cutter or glass.

Place biscuits at least one inch (2 cm) apart.

Bake 14 – 17 minutes or until golden.

Serve immediately or cool and store in an air-tight container, or freeze.

Spicy Mexican Bean Salad

Submitted by Lorna Buhler

Serves 12 – 14

  • 1 – 14 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed 398 mL
  • 1 – 14 oz. can kidney, drained and rinsed 398 mL
  • or
  • 1 – 14 oz. can romano beans, drained and rinsed 398 mL
  • 1 – 14 oz. can cannellini, drained and rinsed 398 mL
  • or
  • 1 – 14 oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed 398 mL
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 – 10 oz. package frozen corn kernels 284 g
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro 60 mL

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients until well mixed.


  • 1/2 c. olive oil 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. red wine vinegar 125 mL
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice 30 mL
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp. salt 15 mL
  • 1 – 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 7 mL
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper 7 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder 2 mL
  • 1 – 2 dashes hot pepper sauce – or more to taste

Make dressing in a small bowl. Pour over vegetables and mix well. Chill thoroughly and serve cold.

Note: for a smaller amount to serve four to six, omit the cans of beans and use 1 – 19 oz. can six bean mix drained and rinsed 540 mL and quarter the rest of the ingredients.

Potato Bean Salad and Vinaigrette

Submitted by Raija Henttonen, Chilliwack, B.C.

From Great Tasting Potatoes, published by Publications International Ltd.

Serves 4 – 6

  • 1 1/2 lb. unpeeled, red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and cubed (2 good size potatoes) 750 g
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil 30 mL
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar 30 mL
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced 15 mL
  • or
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaved crushed 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper 2 mL
  • 1 – 14 oz. can great southern beans, drained and rinsed 398 mL
  • or
  • 1 – 14 oz can navy beans, drained and rinsed 398 mL
  • 1 c. celery, finely chopped 250 mL
  • 1 c. red bell pepper, finely chopped 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. ripe olive, sliced (optional) 125 mL
  • 1/4 c. red onion, finely chopped 60 mL

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan, add water to cover potatoes add one teaspoon (5 mL) salt Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low, simmer uncovered five to seven minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Do not over cook. Drain.

Whisk oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a large bowl until mixture thickens.

Add beans, celery, red peppers, ripe olives and onion. Toss gently. Add warm potatoes, toss gently until vegetables are coated. Let stand at least 10 minutes to marinate. Serve warm or at room temperature or refrigerate until serving.

Oatmeal Lentil Cookies

Submitted by Irene Giddings of Humboldt, Sask.

Yields 48 cookies

  • 3/4 c soft margarine 175 mL
  • 1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. lentil puree 125 mL
  • 1 tsp vanilla 5 mL
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c flour 375 mL
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 2 mL
  • 1 c. rolled oats 250 mL
  • 1 c. chocolate chips 250 mL

Combine margarine and sugar and mix well, add lentil puree, vanilla and eggs, beat until well combined. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and rolled oats, mix to form dough, stir in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonful on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F (180 C) 10 – 12 minutes.


To make Double Chocolate Lentil Cookies, add

  • 1/3 c. cocoa 75 mL
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 5 mL
  • and reduce baking soda to 1/2 tsp. ( 2 mL)

Marilyn’s Baked Navy Beans

Submitted by Marilyn Thorson of Bow Island, Alta.

Serves 12 – 14.

  • 2 lb. dried navy beans 900 g
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard powder 1 mL
  • 1/2 lb. slab of bacon cut in small cubes 250 g
  • 3 c. water 750 mL
  • 1/2 c. ketchup 125 mL
  • 1 tbsp. salt 15 mL
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar 60 mL
  • 1/2 c. molasses 125 mL
  • hot sauce or a few grains of cayenne pepper to taste

Sort and wash the beans, place in a large oven-proof pot and cover with water, soaked overnight and drained.

Add onion, mustard, bacon, water and ketchup. Cook on top of stove about 1 1/2 hours, covered. Add salt, brown sugar, molasses, hot sauce or cayenne pepper, stir to mix, cover and bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until beans are cooked.

For 50 people, use eight pounds of beans and multiply all of the other ingredients by four. This recipe is great cooked in an electric roaster.

Lentil Banana Muffins

Submitted by Irene Giddings of Humboldt, Sask.

Yields 16 muffins or one loaf

  • 1/3 c. oil 75 mL
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar 175 mL
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. mashed bananas 375 mL
  • 1/4 c. buttermilk or sour milk 60 mL
  • 1/2 c. lentil puree 125 mL (see below)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour 375 mL
  • 1 tsp baking soda 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2 mL
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts 250 mL
  • large walnut pieces as garnish

Mix oil, sugar and eggs, add bananas, milk, lentil puree and vanilla, mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and walnuts. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture, stir just to combine. Put in well-oiled muffin pans or a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake muffins 15 minutes and loaf 50 – 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the centre.

Note to make sour milk add one teaspoon (5 mL) of vinegar to milk and let sit five minutes.

Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact:

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