Pulse Love: What are pulses?

2016 is International Year of Pulses, declared by the United Nations. In honour of this, I’ve decided to show pulses some love this year. I’ve done very little cooking and baking with pulses until now, but every month I will be stepping outside my comfort zone and featuring a pulse recipe, along with some pulse info or facts. So come along for the ride and learn more about the wonderful world of pulses with me.

Let’s start with the basics… what are pulses? 

Pulses are dried beans, dried peas, chickpeas and lentils. Pulses are part of the legume family. Some other legumes are soybeans, peanuts, fresh peas and fresh beans.

Source: Pulse Canada – http://www.pulsecanada.com/about-us/what-is-a-pulse 

I’ll start with a fairly basic soup recipe that includes lentils.

Thick and hearty red lentil soup

Beef_Barley_Lentil_Soup
Lentils, barley and beef combine to create a tasty soup to warm you up on a cold winter day.
Note: Recipe adapted from Pulse Canada – www.pulsecanada.com. I halfed the recipe. 
Ingredients 
2 cups dried whole red lentils
1/3 cup pot barley
10 cups reduced sodium beef broth
1 onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 lb lean ground beef
1- 798 ml can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions
Combine lentils, barley and beef broth in large pot.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer ingredients for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare vegetables.
Cook ground beef in large frying pan.
Add beef and vegetables, along with remaining ingredients, to the pot.
Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soup has thickened.

Don’t miss the next post in the Pulse Love series in February. 

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