Black Lentils are a very popular legume in South Asia, they are used to make a beautiful black lentil soup. Black Beluga Lentils are 1/2 cm. wide with a mild, earthly flavor and soft texture. This tiny lens shaped pulse has traditionally been used as a meat substitute (A pulse is the dried seed of any legume, such as beans and peas). Lentils are the seed of a small shrub and are dried after harvesting.
The quick cooking and nutritious nature of lentils make them an obvious choice for winter soups. They're delicious in chilled vegetable salads, or mix with bread crumbs, minced onion and garlic to stuff roasted red peppers or eggplant.
Lentils do not require soaking. Simmer 1 cup lentils with 4 cups water 12 minutes for salads, 20 to 30 minutes for main dishes, drain. Skim the water while cooking. One cup dry yields 2 cups cooked.