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I have just made Martha Rose Shulman's Tomato Lentil Soup and my lentils are not soft!!!!! She says they're tender in about 30 minutes. Mine were still hard after 30 minutes and they're not exactly soft two hours later!!!!!! Is there anything I can do to save this soup and/or what could be wrong with the lentils? They've been in a tightly sealed jar for about a month.

asked by Fern about 5 years ago
6 answers 5054 views

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 5 years ago

I don't know if there's anything wrong with the lentils, but they probably will soften more the longer they sit in liquid. I think I would let them continue to cook. The soup will still be good tomorrow if you have to make something else today.

added about 5 years ago

Thank you!!! I hated the thought of dumping the entire thing. It has wonderful veggies in it and I'm at a total loss about these lentils. I will continue to let it simmer and see what happens. The soup is a gift for tomorrow so having it today is not important......it just frustrates me that it's so delicious except for the lentils!!!

added about 5 years ago

Keep cooking. If your lentils were older, they'd take longer.

added about 5 years ago

Do you have enough liquid to cook further? If so, continue cooking.


added about 5 years ago

My wife always soak the lentil in water for few hours before start cooking .Yesterday her friend gave a very good lentil soup recipe see the hand written recipe will post to food52 recipe section soon with photos. http://picasaweb.google...

added about 5 years ago

how long lentils need to cook really depends on the type and their age. Hard to know how long they've been in storage before you bought them, or even before they were packaged. I'm all for continuing to cook them this time, but next time you might cook them in water before adding the rest of the soup ingredients. That's often how lentils are prepared in indian cooking. Also, when you cook pulses, don't add salt until after they're soft. Somehow the salt keeps them from getting soft. You can, however, as a pinch of baking soda as they cook to help soften them. Works well with beans, can't see any reason it wouldn't work with lentils if they were particularly troublesome.