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When lentils are purchased in bulk, putting them up in jars is a great time saver over cooking individual meals.
3 lbs dried lentils
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 fresh celery stalks, finely chopped
2 large onions, chopped
1 (48 oz.) container low-fat low sodium organic beef broth
1/4 tsp. red hot pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chopped greens, washed
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
For the greens, choose kale, collards, cabbage, spinach, Swiss Chard or beet greens that have been harvested within the past 24 hours. Wash well and pick over, removing any bad spots and trimming away stem portions.
Pick over beans removing any discolored or damaged beans and debris. Wash well, changing water at least 5 times. Discard any lentils that float to surface.
In a large saucepan, cover beans with at least 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil; let boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow beans to soak for 1 hour, adding extra water as needed to keep beans covered. Alternatively, soak lentils overnight in a cool place.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Pack hot soup into hot pint jars, filling 2/3 beans of the way with beans and the remainder of jar with the cooking liquid/vegetable mixture, leaving 1-inch head space.
Wipe jar rims clean using a damp paper towel. Adjust 2 piece caps and process in a pressure canner at 10 lbs. pressure for 75 minutes.
To serve as Lentil Soup, add beef broth or water to thin to desired serving consistency. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. For variety, add noodles and Italian sausage or ground beef (browned and drained). We often add 1/2 tsp. ground cumin when adding ground beef.
Makes about 8 or 9 pints.
Note: Lentils may be canned without any additional ingredients. Soak as above using 3 1/4 lbs lentils; pack loosely into jars and cover with water, adding 1/2 tsp. salt to each jar (optional). Process in a pressure canner for 75 minutes.
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