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Fermenting Lentils for Soup and Other Dishes


Lentils are popular all over the world and for good reason. Their nutrient content is wonderful, they are packed with filling protein, and some say they are one of the easier legumes to digest. Still, lentils are like all legumes in that they are a seed c ontaining anti-nutrients like phytic acid, lectins, and hard-to-digest starches.

So if you’d like to take advantage of the wonderful qualities of the lentil without the less-than-lovely problems inherent in all legumes, consider fermenting them.

A lacto-fermentation, aided with the many strains of bacteria found in cultured dairy, will help prepare your lentils for the soup pot and the belly. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Place 2 cups of lentils in a bowl and cover with 4 cups of warm, but not hot water. Add 1/4 cup whey from yogurt or kefir, or the yogurt or kefir itself. Stir and cover with breathable towel. Place in a warm place for 12 hours. 
  • Strain the soaking water away and add fresh warm water and a bit more whey, kefir, or yogurt. Allow to ferment another 12 hours. 
  • Repeat for a total of 24 to 48 hours, depending on the temperature. 
  • Finally, drain and rinse off any residual dairy and cook according to your recipe. Note that the cooking time might be significantly less due to the long soaking process.


These lentils can now be cooked into a soup with a slightly different flavor than that of a non-fermented lentil soup. They can also be used as the base of a salad or as a side dish to meat and vegetables.

Another great idea for a high-protein breakfast is a pile of these cooked, fermented lentils with bits of cooked bacon and fried eggs on top.

However it is that you choose to serve them, know that the fermentation of the lentils will slightly alter the flavor but not significantly enough to turn off even the pickiest of eaters.


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Lentils for Soup and Other

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